The Patriots are releasing wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, according to NFL insider Jason La Canfora.
Knee issues have dogged Mitchell since his playing days at Georgia and are the cause of his release. The Patriots tried unsuccessfully to shop Mitchell around this summer but his inability to get on the field had no interested parties.
Mitchell, who just turned 25, was a key contributor in the Patriots Super Bowl run in 2016. He caught 32 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie, nearly all of it in the second half of the season. He missed part of that season with an elbow injury but came back and earned the trust of Tom Brady. He steadily gained confidence and was a huge part of the 4th quarter comeback against the Falcons in the Super Bowl.
He caught five passes for 63 yards in the second half of the Super Bowl.
His future looked bright, however, the very same knee issues robbed him of 2017. He never made it onto the field last season and his knee woes held him to just a couple of all-too-brief cameos this spring. That led to the Patriots shopping him unsuccessfully.
The team can either convert him to IR again with an injury settlement or outright release him, depending upon the health of his knee. It is a case of oh-so-close for the talented wide receiver.
So where does this leave the team? In the short term, it immediately opens up a roster spot, despite the fact he hadn’t been practicing. That will be filled quickly. But it was clear before training camp even began that Mitchell wasn’t going to be in the team’s plans for 2018.
With Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Eric Decker, Kenny Britt, and younger players Riley McCarron, Braxton Berrios, Devin Lucien and Paul Turner, they have enough depth to carry them through the season. Although Britt too has missed some valuable time this camp. Julian Edelman will miss the first month of the season due to his suspension.
As we posted in our 53-man roster projection this morning, Mitchell wasn’t on the roster and youngsters Berrios and McCarron were still on the outside looking in for a roster spot.
It is a shame to see a player as talented as Mitchell lose his career on an injury. But the chances of another team taking a flyer on him at this point would remain pretty slim.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2018 Patriots preseason 2018 Patriots season 2018 Patriots Training Camp 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Braxton Berrios Chris Hogan Cordarrelle Patterson Devin Lucien Eric Decker Kenny Britt Malcolm Mitchell New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots wide receiver injuries Patriots wide receivers Phillip Dorsett Riley McCarron Tom Brady