49ers sign former Texan Earl Mitchell

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Earl Mitchell signs with his third NFL team after starting his career with the Houston Texans.

The San Francisco 49ers have signed former Houston Texans defensive tackle Earl Mitchell.

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Mitchell played the last three years with the Miami Dolphins after spending the first four years of his career with the Texans. He was selected by Houston in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Mitchell was the 78th ranked interior defender and had a rating of 46.3 last season last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Just eight months ago, Eric Eager of PFF wrote an article listing the five worst interior defender contracts.  Mitchell was fifth on the list.  This is a big reason the Dolphins released him.

"Playing alongside Ndamukong Suh in 2015, Mitchell struggled mightily, finishing 97th among interior defensive linemen with a 64.1 overall grade. He was especially weak against the run, finishing 60th among defensive tackles with a 4.2 run-stop percentage (for an overall run-defense grade of 34.2). He didn’t grade positively after Week 8 of 2015, accumulating just three stops and four pressures during that stretch.Like Bryant, Mitchell’s contract is not an onerous one for the Dolphins, as he is due—at most—$1 million in dead money were he to be cut at any point over the next two seasons. That said, Mitchell has never finished higher than 30th in overall grading among defensive tackles during any point in his career, and yet his salary is currently 16th among 4-3 defensive tackles on a per-year basis. With the Dolphins allocating significant resources to Suh for the foreseeable future, it’s probably not the best use of resources to pay Mitchell like an above-average interior defender, especially given that they’re making a similarly questionable move by paying Mario Williams $17 million over two years to replace Olivier Vernon."

I’m sure the Houston Texans haven’t missed Mitchell at all. He isn’t very good against the run and is average against the pass. Best of luck to him in the Bay Area.

Next: Why the Texans have to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo