After free agent defensive lineman Earl Mitchell left Denver without signing a deal, it seemed like his chances of joining the team were slim. When free agents leave without a deal from Broncos General Manager John Elway they rarely ending up joining the team and that proved true again this time around.
According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the San Fransisco 49ers have signed Earl Mitchell to a four-year deal worth $16 million dollars. He will reportedly make $5.5 million dollars in his first year of the contract.
DT Earl Mitchell to the Niners on a four-year deal worth $16m with $5.5m in year one, source says.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 25, 2017
After Mitchell was released by the Miami Dolphins, many assumed he would end up with the Denver Broncos. He was a draft pick of former Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak while he was in Houston, he worked with Broncos defensive line coach Bill Kollar while at Houston, and played for current Denver Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph last season when he coached the Dolphins defense. Those connections earned the Broncos a visit with Mitchell earlier this week and he reportedly dined with Joseph, Kollar, and others. However, Mitchell left Denver without a contract and the Broncos moved on.
9NEWS Denver's Mike Klis says the Broncos were "close" to signing Mitchell, but were outbid by the 49ers. Klis says the Broncos offered Mitchell a three-year deal that paid him $4.5 million dollars in the first year of the contract, but the 49ers gave him another year and another million in the first year.
All the two-down interior DLs on the market are happy with this deal. Big contract for a guy who probably plays less than half the snaps. https://t.co/BocpX51qKm— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) February 25, 2017
Now the Broncos did add some depth along their defensive line earlier today. They signed defensive lineman Bobby Richardson to a deal to add depth to their defensive line position.
The 6-3, 285lb defensive lineman joined the New Orleans Saints after he went undrafted during the 2015 NFL Draft. He ended up starting 11 games for the Saints that year and totaled 40 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 pass deflection.
Richardson ended up being waived by the Saints this past September and joined their Practice Squad before being released from that as well. He then bounced around Washington's and the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad before being out of Football since November 9th. Now he will compete for a roster spot at the Broncos defensive end position this offseason.