So when the Redskins cut him today, Mitchell wasn't surprised.
''I always thought that was a possibility,'' Mitchell said. ''That's the business we're in, you have to take the good with the bad.''
Mitchell and receiver Cliff Russell were the most prominent of the Redskins' cuts today. They've unofficially released at least 10 players, though they won't make it official until Monday. Some players have not yet been told.
The other eight we know were cut: receiver Scott Cloman, defensive tackle Norman Heuer, end Greg White, defensive backs Michael Hall and Nic Clemons, linebacker Billy Strother and receiver John Standeford.
The Redskins have to get to 65 players by 4 p.m. Tuesday, but they have 11 roster exemptions which they can keep until the final cuts.
Mitchell spent four seasons with Washington and was a fulltime starter in 2001. But he's an aging backup who lacked the ability to play every down, though he could still help against the run. The Redskins like Pierce at all three linebacking spots, negating the need for Mitchell in the middle.
Still, it could leave Washington without an experienced middle linebacker should Mike Barrow's knee injury linger throughout the season. Pierce has played on the outside his first three seasons.
Russell, a third-round pick in 2002, wasn't surprised, either. Injuries marred his first two seasons and he never displayed much on the field.
''I wasn't good enough to show the coaches that they needed me on the team,'' Russell said. ''With the injuries, it's like you work so hard to get healthy and once you accomplish that, everyone else has been working and you're just trying to get up to tempo. It's difficult.''
Redskins coach Joe Gibbs could not confirm any of these cuts, or comment specifically on them. But he did discuss the process.
''I hate the process,'' he said. ''These guys worked their guts out. To me, this is the hardest part of what we do.''
Mitchell Among Cuts
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