Earl Mitchell had offers from the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
In the end, the free-agent defensive tackle from the Miami Dolphins chose the team he felt needed him the most: the San Francisco 49ers.
‘I saw it as an opportunity to make a real impact’
“I’m proud of the decision I made,” Mitchell told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz.
Mitchell was appreciative that the Dolphins released him early enough in the offseason that he was able to make multiple visits to teams interested in signing him.
‘I wanted to be a part of the season the team goes in the right direction’
His trip to San Francisco went well for multiple reasons, one of the biggest of which was the clear sense from the 49ers that he would represent a clear upgrade for a team in desperate need of improvement,
“Honestly, I kind of saw it as an opportunity for myself to make a real impact,” Mitchell said. “I wanted to be a part of the reason why the team goes in the right direction. And they were big on letting me know that the difference between the teams I was looking at and them was that I was needed and the other teams basically didn’t need me as much.
‘We’re going to be good without you, but we’d be better with you’
“And when I went on those visits, a lot of them were preaching the same thing, saying, ‘We’re going to be good without you, but we’d be better with you.’ And that was kind of a common theme.”