clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Earl Mitchell announces retirement

Next stop: WWE?

Another career in the NFL has come to an end, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell has announced his retirement from professional football. The announcement came via his Instagram page.

Mitchell came into the league as a third-round draft pick of the Houston Texans, but most recently finished up with the San Francisco 49ers and was instrumental for veteran leadership and helping get the new defensive picks on the same page. Unfortunately, D.J. Jones began emerging and eventually took Mitchell’s spot at nose tackle. It just wasn’t easy to justify paying a guy $3.7 to sit on the sidelines, especially when it’s a veteran like Mitchell. It was suggested the 49ers were willing to bring him back at a lower price, but the Seattle Seahawks signed him before anything could have and would have happened. The Seahawks released Mitchell at the end of August, long after he could have gotten a 49ers’ training camp in.

Mitchell retires with 164 tackles (267 combined), 6.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and nine passes defended. Not too shabby for a career of four years with the Texans, three years with the Dolphins, and two with the 49ers.

So what’s next? Well, he was seen at WWE NXT facilities in the 2018 offseason taking notes. NXT is the WWE’s minor league of professional wrestling. The brainchild of Triple H, the idea is to bring talent from the independents or fresh to pro wrestling in general and use the facilities as a training ground to groom for eventual promotion to RAW or Smackdown, WWE’s flagship shows. There hasn’t been much said since beyond a trip he made with George Kittle to TLC when it was in the Bay Area.

Have fun in retirement, Mitchell!

Here’s his full announcement:

”Begin with the end in mind”⠀⠀⠀

I thought that I would be sad when I decided to let go of something I’ve loved for so long. I feel grateful to walk away with no regrets knowing I gave it my all. After 9 great years, I’m officially retiring from the National Football League. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Since 2002 I’ve dedicated my life to this game. When I first stepped into the locker room at North Shore, I decided to put my all into learning something that I knew nothing about. If it wasn’t for this game I would have never been able to achieve my original dream of going to and graduating college. I’m extremely proud of my career and I appreciate all of those who have supported me along the way. ⠀⠀⠀

Translation: I can no longer give out “loans” or free money. Thank you - EMFM