Per multiple sources, the Patriots announced the release of wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell. He was waived, not waive/injured, which means that when he passes through waivers he will be a free agent.
This is a disappointing end to what could have been a fantastic Patriots career for the young receiver. Mitchell was entering his third year in the NFL after being drafted by the Patriots out of Georgia in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Mitchel had battled through knee injuries to have a successful college career and was a solid selection by New England.
Mitchell had an impressive rookie season with the Patriots. He finished the regular season with 32 catches for 401 yards and four touchdowns. More importantly, he quickly developed a repertoire with Tom Brady and became a target that the quarterback could trust in big moments.
This was never more evident than in Super Bowl LI. Mitchell had an unreal game and was one of the most important contributors in the Patriots’ second-half comeback. He had six catches for 70 yards, most of which came on crucial third downs that kept drives alive for New England.
He also had a crucial block on James White’s game-winning touchdown in overtime. Mitchell did not shrink in the spotlight and appeared to be on his way to Patriots stardom.
Unfortunately, his knee injury caught up to him and kept him sidelined throughout the entire 2017 season. Despite making progress over this past offseason, he was still unable to be at full strength when training camp began. The Patriots decided to move on from Mitchell, and focus on the healthy receivers that they have.
It is extremely unfortunate that Mitchell was unable to fully recover. He played an important role in the Patriots offense and was a high character player that made the locker room a better place. His connection with Brady will certainly be missed and will be tough to replace. He deserves the well-wishes of all of the New England faithful as he moves on with his career.
Until next time – B$