Steelers Did Not Overpay S Mike Mitchell Like Many Suggest

Immediately after it was reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers had signed former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell to a five-year, $25 million contract on Tuesday, it wasn’t hard to notice that several people on Twitter thought he was overpaid. Now, after seeing the breakdown of the contract, I can tell you the Steelers got a real good deal.

If the Wednesday morning reports are indeed correct, Mitchell received a $4.75 million signing bonus as part of his contract and a guaranteed base salary in 2014 of $750,000. In addition, while not yet reported, it appears as though the safety also has a $500,000 roster or workout bonus in 2014 as well.

In 2015, Mitchell is due a roster bonus of $2 million on the 5th day of the new league year, so the Steelers can decide by that point whether or not they want to move forward with him based on his play in 2014. If for some reason the Steelers are not happy with Mitchell after one season, they can release him prior to the fifth day of the 2015 league year and only incur a dead money charge of $3.8 million.

The best case scenario is of course that Mitchell plays well and earns that 2015 roster bonus. Should that be the case, his 2015 cap charge would only be $4.95 million.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Virdin Barzey

    Agreed. Good deal. Even better if he ends up being the upgrade we desperately needed over Clark.

  • Brian Miller

    Yep…small price to pay if he is our quality FS starter for the next 4 or 5 years…also plenty of time to draft another FS and groom. Takes a LOT of pressure off of us drafting one this year. Really allows us to focus on BPA on CB/WR/DE/DT/LB…much more freedom.

  • grw1960

    Good signing all around. Better a signing like Mitchell who has shown some want to, battling and sticking with it for the years since he was drafted.
    Than a grab bag 3d -4th round draftee.

  • chris ward

    Good deal for the Steelers, great job by Colbert.

  • 804Stiller

    I will be totally honest, I don’t know that much about the kid as I didn’t know much about Clark when we grabbed him from the Skins. End of the day, his contract was much less than Hitner’s and they were ranked similarly on the free agent boards I checked. To the good, it sounds like his range is better and he is younger. A more proven commodity and our draft focus can move to other needs.

  • steeltown

    Just read we locked up Cody Wallace for 3yrs…very pleased with this offseason thus far

  • Steelers12328882

    It’s also a great deal considering how hot a commodity the safety position was yesterday. That, and there never seems to be a ton of safety’s in the draft that are NFL capable players.

  • Madi

    KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!

    Sorry.

  • srdan

    Nice!

    Now just get Woods back and we can stop until the draft and I would be ok with it. Granted some veteran OLB or DB help would be nice, but all in all, excellent offseason.

  • steeltown

    …and Cotchery

  • srdan

    Good catch! No pun

  • steeltown

    …and Dwyer

  • stellarsfan

    Have you guys watched his college tape? Obviously his pro tape is a more useful assessment, but his professional catalogue includes only 1 year of starting play so its fun to look back at his college highlights to see what kind of potential looms. Tenacious, fast, and reeks of Steeler mold.

  • 20Stoney

    I’ve been reading somes Carolina forums and the vast majority of the posts say this guy’s a player and sets a tone with physical play. The only thing any of them have really questioned is the 25 million, which it appears he won’t see unless he really earns it.

  • Derick L Young

    I do think that signing is a huge help when the draft comes. Steelers have done a decent job at some FA, Farrior, Clark, Parker(you could argue Willie based on he was a undrafted FA)

  • Derick L Young

    the only money that really matters is the gaurunteed. a lot of fans will just look at the total worth. ask @adbrant

  • Virdin Barzey

    If we get back Cotchery first, Woods second and Dwyer third, do we still go for DB at 15 in the draft? I’m not so sure. Haven’t drafted a DB that high in years.

    With Woodley gone, does LB become the preferred position targeted at 15? I’m about getting pressure on the QB. We need that in the worse way which makes the DB position easier.

  • afrazier9

    They seem to be going in the right direction still need to get us a corner, and please don’t bash me for this but revis would be good right now i think he would be open to coming back to pitt. I really think we shopuld shoot our shot whats the worst he can say no

  • T R

    we just lost Woods to the Titans.. he just signed with them

  • srdan

    dam

  • T R

    we ed just retweeted that deal no done yet. but reports he visiting ohter teams too. so…

  • shawn

    83rd rated FA … 25 million … i’ll say it …. “Overpaid” doesnt matter what the guaranteed is … he’s getting his 5 mil plus this year and if he indeed does well which is of course why they signed him .. then he will get his 25 mil over 5 years … so how exactly is that not overpaying ???

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    No not yet. Steelers probably told Al Woods to go visit teams, so Steelers and FO can establish his value better, deciding whether he’s worth the contract they are offering or not. Keep this in mind, going to those teams Woods just might not get to start, same can be said with Steelers but he has better chance here than anywhere and he knows it.

  • moonunit1

    no…he’s getting 800k plus a small bonus, to reach 2.2 mil this year…also, you’re taking about 5 mil a year for a safety in a 160m cap..it means a different thing than it meant in a 120 m cap. It cost us 5.25 mil spread over 5 years to sign the guy. All other safeties on day 1 got double digit guaranteed money.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Even I’m rooting for a trade up to land Khalil Mack.

  • shawn

    re do ur math

  • shawn

    If he plays like he did last year … its a fair deal, if he turns into a near pro bowler than it is a bargain … otherwise i think they over paid for the 1 year performance .. but i am hopeful that it turns out like it did for Clark … then i can say it was a GOOD signing … we shall see, but hope this doesnt mean they still dont target FS in the draft … still like Buchannon !

  • moonunit1

    Huh? My math? Its posted in the other article. Also, if you like buchanon so much, check out the arizona st game where he gets completely abused in every aspect of the game. Hes got stiff hips and bad awareness.

  • Sven_Hunkstrom

    The Steelers have suffered from cap mismanagement as much as any team in the league over the last several years. I’m not sure how much of this has been Khan picking the best of bad scenarios, based on personnel directives from over his head, but he certainly bears some of the fault.

  • Sven_Hunkstrom

    I actually agree with this. If he pans out, he presumably gets the $25 million over 5 years. The only way the lower guaranteed amount becomes relevant is if he’s bad enough he’s cut loose early. It’s certainly true that the higher cap can mitigate this going forward, and that a deal can be renegotiated, but this doesn’t seem like any kind of bargain considering he doesn’t crack most top 100 FA lists. Look around, this signing isn’t exactly drawing rave reviews from outside observers.

  • shawn

    dont agree with u on buchannon … looking at the article above it clearly states above 1.25 plus 2 mil signing bonus puts it at 3.25 u state 2.2 … correct no ?

  • Sven_Hunkstrom

    He’s ranked outside of most Top 100 lists of available free agents, and typically behind Ryan Clark in those where he did merit some kind of ranking. If he’s a starter for four or five years, that’s great, but then he gets the $25 million. That’s a good deal if he’s an all-pro, but (1) there’s nothing to indicate he’s anywhere near that good and (2) if he’s something lesser, that’s a lot of money for even a “quality starter” at safety.

  • shawn

    thank you … its pretty common sense … the only way he doesnt get the 25 mil is if it doesnt pan out which like you said makes it irrelevant … not sure why this is so difficult for people to understand …

    not saying its a terrible signing (i said piss poor before .. i take that back) it is taking a stab at the dart board and it likely could be a good pick up, but no way was this a cheap pick up … its a gamble but I’m ok with gambling just would have liked it on a more proven DB !

  • shawn

    Good Analysis !!

  • Derick L Young

    Interesting. Bill Polian, Gary Horton, Matt Williamson and Field Yates rated him the 5th best safetly available. Ahead of Whitner who got a heck of a lot more than Mitchell.

  • moonunit1

    Depends on this phantom potential 500k workout bonus, but his base salary is 750k for 2014…As for Bucannon. He was the last line of defense on team that gave up 55 to Standford, 55 to Arizona St, and 62 to Oregon, 52 to Oregon St, and 48 to Colorado St. What is it you like about him?

  • shawn

    his tape … he’s a playmaker has all the skills … are u saying good players dont come from bad teams .. that seems to be ur argument …

    doesnt matter about the workout bonus his pay is clearly above 2.2 mil regardless …

  • moonunit1

    I’m saying good safeties rarely play on teams that allow 48 plus on 5 different occasions in a season, yes.

    WEAKNESSES: Has a high, choppy backpedal and is stiff in the
    hips, limiting his ability to change directions fluidly. This leaves
    Bucannon vulnerable to double-moves and ball-carriers with the agility
    to cutback against the grain. While a big-hitter, too often Bucannon
    will lunge at ball-carriers, occasionally resulting in some ugly whiffs.
    Struggles a bit with tunnel vision, focusing strictly on the
    ball-carrier and losing sight of would-be blockers, who take advantage
    of his lack of spatial awareness to seal him off from the play.

  • CrazyTerry

    If they wrapped up K Lewis prior to free agency last year, they could have had him for th esame annual amount as this decnt but not great safety. And we wonder why Colbert has mismanaged the cap so much.

  • Madi

    I think he’s done remarkably well. We have and have had a lot of highly paid players that deserve to be highly paid. I know all we got is a couple of Super Bowls, but…

  • Sven_Hunkstrom

    Agreed on the last part, hence my “last several years” qualifier. But since then, he’s (at the least) been party to some decisions that have unquestionably proven to be poor ones, resulting in among the worst cap situations in the league over that time. If he warranted widespread credit during the good times for his cap maneuvering, it follows he’s worthy of some of the blame since things turned sour.

    These problems stem in large part from the widespread draft failures that predate even the last two Super Bowl appearances, and those I don’t believe he has any role in.

  • shawn

    is this YOUR analysis or copy paste ??? I try not to get into this wine has a hint of chocolate with overtones of strawberries … blah blah .. i think thats the wrong way to go about it … i judge on tape usually by he’s a Player or he’s NOT …. thats the way it should be done …

    and from what i saw he does everything … decent size speed good instincts hits makes plays … liked him from what i saw … best FS in the draft IMO !

  • WIINGY

    This deal is peanuts. Just goes to show how horrible this offseason has been. They could of made more moves. But they live in the past.

    Horrible offseason

  • WIINGY

    woohooo! We sign a Safety for peanuts and back up nobody wanted last year. This team still sucks.

  • WIINGY

    and then…. we’ll basically have the same damn 8-8 team from last year!

    Are you ready for mediocracy?

  • alex

    Troy and Mitchell backing up Cortez and Ike with Gay in the slot…with Shark doing what now?

    if we double dip on CBs we will have a full house…

  • MC

    I was initially content about the signing. Now i’m extremely pleased.
    Now lets go get a shutdown corner in the draft.

  • Jazz

    Horrible Offseason? Why? Because they haven’t gone crazy in throwing money away to another team dead weight? How long have you been a fan of the Black N Gold? The Steelers are never big players in Free Agency. What we have seen is probably all we are going to get. Truth be told, what we have see thus far is pretty huge for the Steelers.

  • Jazz

    It will never happen; Khalil Mack will probably be taken in the top 10 easily. The Steelers have far too many needs to give up draft picks for a player that has proven absolutely nothing. I think they will stay were they currently are, or possibly move back a few spots and try and pick up the 3rd they gave away to Cleveland last April. Now if you want to criticize a move; give up a 3rd round pick to take a 4th round pick for a player that made very little impact last year. Oh Yeah!!!!

  • CrazyTerry

    Why not go with Sharmarko at Ryan Clark”s position and sign a better FA at DB for the nearly 8M they are paying Ike and Mitchell combined?

  • shawn

    very well said … this proves my point we overpaid !

  • shawn

    another great point !

  • Nathaniel Sullivan

    Exactly what I was going to say.

  • Madi

    My point about the Super Bowls is that it cost a butt-ton of money to get them, and that money lingers. A lot isn’t his fault. Draft picks not working out, Woodley getting hurt and getting cut. And we’re forced to keep some older guys with higher salaries because our young ones aren’t ready yet. Considering the yearly “sky is falling” about the salary cap, seems like he got away with it to me.

  • Brian Miller

    I hear what you are saying, but the Steelers FO obviously saw something in him early, they didn’t let any news slip out early of them liking him, and then they signed him. He gets a year or two to prove himself, and if he doesn’t work out, we cut him and do not lose that much money in the process. There is nothing to indicate he isn’t as good as they think he can be either, and if he does play for 5 years, he will be getting a contract extension or rework before the end of the contract anyone so it will be a mute point. How high was Ryan Clark ranked when we got him? He was a very low key signing initially, and it doesn’t matter what the NFL “experts” rank these guys, it is how they play and fit into our system. I will give our FO the benefit of the doubt as they have proven more often then not that they know what they are doing…

  • Brian Miller

    yep…they are working on that now…

  • shawn

    where do u get this line of thinking ?

    If you like and sign a young guy with the hopes of him playing and doing well … then you are looking at him fulfilling his contract and paying out the ENTIRE contract of 25 mil … not of what u have to pay out if it was a bum signing then it is irrelevant … what part of that is so hard for people to understand ?

  • shawn

    to think .. Verner got just about 1 mil/yr more (yes more guaranteed but who cares … people should be going into it wanting to pay out the entire contract , not thinking oh this is a bad pick how much do we lose if he sux) and for 1 mil extra they got one of the top FA and CBs in the league …

  • Derick L Young

    A.) from an ex GM of the Packers @ADbrant as I put, where do you get yours? B.) don’t you think if he plays out all 5 years that is a win for the Steelers and Mitchell? See how much Whitner got…

  • steeltown

    We need depth

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Shamarko made an impact, was a good contributor until he got hurt. Also no, Steelers can afford the luxury of trading up, if that player is special (Khalil Mack fits the pick quality that Polamalu was) needs? Sure. Do we need more starters? Nah just depth, which more can be signed via free agency or UDFA. We will be fine. There will be growing pain but Khalil Mack is a talent that we have close to our pick where he should be a top 3 pick but because of this very deep, once a century draft-like talents he’ll be top 10.

    Our secondary now appears to be one of deepest positions in NFL (yes you read that right, not many teams have the depth like ours believe it or not) so I expect a cornerback, NT/DE (it’ll be one of them), LB, TE, maybe WR or RB… OL somewhere along the line, I see WR/RB/OL being addressed via draft or udfa. The rest will be either high round picks or FAs. We will be fine, no need to hit the panic button if we trade up. We have 3 expected comp. Picks remember that.

  • shawn

    Mitchell isn’t Whintner … if he plays out his 5 years it is only a win if he is on the upside and going to continually improve then yes … but more likely is that it was a one year aberration and we overpaid for a player that did not give us any umph in the secondary !

  • Derick L Young

    you are quick to judge is all I can understand from you.

  • shawn

    1. from a money standpoint after seeing Verner’s and Carrolls contracts its clear that we overpaid

    2. from a player standpoint, i definitely think he is an upgrade over Clark, but i dont think he is good enough to improve our secondary to what i think we need

    I think these are fair statements, no ?