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.”
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.