Mystery Solved: Remembering Jayme Mitchell

by Cleveland Frowns on March 21, 2012

Defensive end Jayme Mitchell was unceremoniously cut last Friday, thus concluding one of the most ridiculous narratives in the ridiculous history of the Lerner-era Cleveland Browns. To think it was little more than a year ago that Tony Grossi and Tom Heckert entranced Browns fandom with the tale of the prodigiously talented defensive end who was added in the middle of the 2010 season by way of a trade with Minnesota for a seventh round draft pick.

Remember, the fact that Mitchell didn’t receive a snap of playing time for Eric Mangini’s Browns after the 2010 trade was one of Grossi’s “Ten Great Mysteries” of that season, and one of the few that was eventually “solved” by Grossi by teaming up with Heckert to kick dirt on the then-recently deposed head coach. Despite that Mitchell “never played in a 3-4 defense at any level” and, according to Grossi himself, “doesn’t have a body that would ever fit in that scheme,” Heckert explained to Grossi his belief that it was “bizarre” that Mangini never found a way to work the defensive end into a game plan.

“[Mitchell] was by far our best pass rusher and never got on the field, so I can’t answer that one,” Heckert said. “Eric watched him [on tape prior to the trade] and Eric liked him. So I don’t know what happened after that. He’s a nickel pass rusher on third down. We thought he could really rush the passer.”

A few months later the Browns had re-signed the free agent Mitchell, and plugged him in as a starting defensive end for 2011.

“When he signed, I walked in, he was sitting down and he stood up and I said, ‘Oh my goodness.’ He just kept getting taller,” said the newly minted Browns head coach Pat Shurmur last August. “He’s a terrific looking guy.”

Future so bright.

So folks who wondered how a 2010 Browns’ defensive front that was good enough to dominate the Patriots and Saints was in such bad shape that a guy who could be had for a seventh round pick would immediately become “by far [the team's] best pass rusher;” and folks who wondered why the Vikings would let go of this gem for such a low price if he “could really rush the passer;” and those who wondered how it could possibly be “bizarre” that a guy who was obtained for a seventh round pick and who never played a down in a 3-4 scheme wouldn’t end up seeing the field for Mangini’s Browns after joining the team in the middle of the season; They all had their answer.

Mangini and the Vikings, of course, were simply bizarro clowns for failing to channel Mitchell’s talent. By last August, Mitchell was even telling the press about how he “sensed it in the air” as soon as he arrived in Cleveland four weeks into the 2010 season that the coach who was standing in the way of the defensive end and sure NFL stardom was as good as on the outs.

Yet less than a year and a mere 1.5 sacks later, after a season where Mitchell publicly complained about losing his starting job to Emmanuel Stephens by Week 9, Mitchell is a goner, too. His story as a Cleveland Brown joining the ranks of everything else that Mike Holmgren’s front office has ever done or said about Eric Mangini since arriving in Cleveland as a spectacular explosion of horseshit. Kaboom. Hooray.

—————

In other news, Redskins GM Bruce Allen reportedly told some fans at a Hooters in Waco, TX that Robert Griffin III is glad that the Browns didn’t trade up for him (yawn).

Here’s Deuce of Davenport on Mike Florio averting trollgaze from Holmgren for a few moments to visit upon Peyton Manning in Denver.

And it will take some time to process the Tebow to the Jets thing.

Hope everyone’s having a decent Wednesday.

  • Davekolonich

    Fond memories. Here’s another Grossi gem from the halcyon days of Pat Shurmur’s “aggressive” offense.

    http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2011/08/pat_shurmurs_aggressive_offens.html

    • Anonymous

      That is a gem among gems. I thought I did a remembrance post on it at some point during the season (Ess Eh had brought it up), but I can’t seem to find it.

      • Ess Eh

        I can’t remember the time frame either, end of november? but it is still hilarious today, for sure

    • Anonymous

      Don’t have anything in your mouth when you read it. Just had an iced tea incident at my desk.

    • Anonymous

      Wow… My immediate reaction when opening that link and reading the headline was that it looked like it was written by The Onion.

  • Anonymous

    No matter how bad I feel about our football team at least I am not a Jaguars fan. They have a steaming pile of crap at QB in Gabbert and are unwilling to give up a few meaningless late round picks to put people in the seats and see what happens with Tebow and MJD in the same backfield.

    Anyway what do I care about the Jaguars…when can I bet the under on the Browns this year. I got kids to put through college.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    Next mystery that needs to be solved- Why did Heckert trade a handful of draft picks for Badknees McSpinsalot in 2010?

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    it almost goes without saying that that ‘throw away pick’ turned into something useful for the vikings.

    and sure enough.

    meet mistral raymond. nominated for pepsi rookie of the week for week 16.

    if youre keeping score its:
    browns picks nominated for rookie of the week: 1 (sheard)
    browns picks traded away nominated: 3 (justin houston x2 + mistral raymond.)

  • wiseoldredbeard

    I’ve been waiting to see something this somewhere (not surprised it was by Frownie, as critiquing the Browns brass can get a beat writer fired) — one of the “great myster[ies]” indeed… What’s the deal on the Browns shopping for a FA LB? Anyone got scoop”?

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      WFNY claims we’re interested in Manny Lawson.

      • Anonymous

        That report was refuted by a few sources, but it certainly appears as though they are preparing themselves for a possible suspension for Fujita for his role in the bounty program in New Orleans.

        Either way, they could use some youth and depth at LB, so it’s nice to see they are looking to add someone.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, I don’t really care who it is, as long as we get some improvement at linebacker. Good to know they’re at least looking.

  • bboobb

    I read this article twice, and don’t understand it. It’s probably my shortcoming, but would someone explain the point? Was Mitchell foisted on Mangini? Was he really not suitable or good enough to play the position he was assigned under Mangini?

    thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Let me try to sum it up:
      1. Browns pick up a player that doesn’t come close to filling any need on the team.
      2. Player doesn’t play.
      3. Fast forward to the next season: Player starts on d-line because the Browns switch from 3-4 to 4-3.
      4. Grossi writes about how player wasn’t utilized properly under Mangini because Mangini is a terrible coach.
      5. Player sucks.
      6. Grossi fired.
      7. Player cut
      8. Browns are still shitty.
      9. If you have any other questions I suggest you ask Pat.

      • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

        You missed one:

        2a: GM who traded for said player touts his abilities as the best pass rusher on the team.

        • wiseoldredbeard

          2 (revision) – player doesn’t play because coach recognizes that he neither fits into system nor is good.
          2(b) – coach fired.

      • Anonymous

        In #1, it should read “lazy dog of a player who can’t grasp simplified NFL defense and has only one move to the QB and doesn’t know how to do anything except rush upfield.” but perhaps I’m thinking too simplistically.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, Mitchell was foisted on Mangini, and no, Mitchell was not suitable for the position.

  • Anonymous

    I read this article twice, and don’t understand it. It’s probably my shortcoming, but would someone explain the point? Was Mitchell foisted on Mangini? Was he really not suitable or good enough to play the position he was assigned under Mangini?

    thanks.

    • Anonymous

      See above comment.

      • Anonymous

        Great. Thanks. I don’t know that much about football or the Browns.

        very helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Florio is a boob.

    • wiseoldredbeard

      What do you have against boobs?

      • Anonymous

        Nothing at all when referring to a woman’s breast. When referring to a foolish or stupid person, however, I guess it’s the foolishness and stupidity that gets me.

  • Zarathustra330

    Thank you frowns for revisiting this as I believe it is incredibly important. As holmgren’s incompetence becomes more self-evident with each passing day the consensus among fans seems to be “at least we have heckert.”. Why? What have been the moves that he has made that should make anybody believe he is more than a middling gm? I have no problem at all with a plan that forsakes free agency for building a team through the draft, but the key is to properly execute the plan. Joe haden was a solid–though easy–pick; and sheard may be as well. After that the picks are varying degrees of maybe. Why such confidence in the man that made such a ridiculous public assessment of jayme fricking mitchell? Maybe he will have great draft next month, but there just seems to be little reason to believe so.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I’ve been waiting on this one. But I’m not sure I get it re Mangini. I can’t tell if you think Heckert’s belief in Mitchell was phony and/or ordered up by Holmgren, and that they just brought him as a showpiece and supporting prop for their dumping of St. Eric, or if you think Heckert was honest but that this is just evidence of his stupidity. This follows my general confusion as to whether your ongoing critique of the regime is primarily based on their clever, calculated evil or their stupidity/laziness.

    It sounds like the former. But they really did play the guy. And for preseason and I think about 2 games, it looked like a potential winner.

    • Anonymous

      I have explained this to you before. It’s not calculating evil or bumbling stupidity/laziness; it’s fundamental moral unworthiness. A karmic block. Chief Wahoo, the Lerners, Dawg Pound Mike, media and citizen enablers, the appalling silence of the good people, etc. are all implicated along with H&H, who had the last best chance to stand against all the rest and failed miserably.

      Maybe they live it down. It’s just really hard to see that from here.

      • Anonymous

        Frownie, as much intelligence as this site has, you have driven me to finally figure out how to post with all this wahoo bable.Karma and all the rest yes, Chief Wahoo?, no way. I have a few Indian friends here in the southwest and they are not offended by the wahoo characature in any way. Stick to whipping on the pathetic owners, GM’s, and presidents of the teams in C-town and your message of ineptitude will have much more relevance. I guess that I am just really upset that you manage to inject Chief Wahoo into a conversation that is another in a long line of showing just how badly the Clowns have fallen. To me it just takes a substantial realistic view into never never land.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    creating a stockpile over here for your next frowndup…

  • Bandit

    I think you overlooked the fact that the Browns aquired two incredible talents in free agency to bolster the D-line in free agency. After all H&H are the premeier talent evaluators in the NFL. Bet the Bengals are still laughing,

  • Anonymous

    Where’s Biki? I want to hear his opinion on whether the combined forces of Linsanity and Tebowmania will cause Manhattan to implode.

  • Ess Eh

    You will probably be able to repost this article in a year with just a few changes … Jayme to Carlton and best pass rusher to best receiver

  • Alexb

    Mitchell started most of this season right? I’m having a hard time visualizing who was opposite Sheard most of the season and i thought the jersey said Mitchell….whoever it was didn’t do shit in any case. If it was Mitchell then no surprise he’s gone.

  • Anonymous

    This front office has been a disaster. I actually thought maybe just maybe Holmgren would bring ina winning culture. He has been a very weak leader and han’t made one tough choice.

    Look at Horse Teeth in Denver. That is a guy that stepped in and made the tought choices. I thought he would fail and Holmgren would succeed. It was the opposite

    Holmgren needs to fired ASAP. Lerner needs to learn how to do proper due dilligence during a hiring process. All this mess is a pile on his door step. Lerner needs to step up and get the hiring of the front office right. He has failed so miserabley and now we are almost stuck hoping and praying that maybe H$H get lucky and draft 4 future HOFers this year.

    Browns: Where no hope is the only time we can evention mention hope

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