The 49ers announced on Saturday that Mitchell has agreed to terms on a four-year deal. According to ESPN.com, Mitchell’s new contract includes $6.5 million in guaranteed money and will pay him a total of $16 million if he plays out the entire deal.
The veteran will make $5.5 million during his first year with the 49ers, which is actually a raise over the $4 million he would’ve made in Miami if that Dolphins hadn’t cut him on Feb. 16.
The deal with Mitchell marks the first big contract the 49ers have handed out sinceon Jan. 30. According to Lynch, adding the 29-year-old Mitchell was a “priority.”
“As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign,” Lynch said in a statement. “A man of high character, he represents everything we want to be as a football team. Earl is a tone-setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. We believe those qualities are contagious and will help to make our team stronger.”
For a team that ranked dead last against the run in 2017, the addition of Mitchell makes sense. There’s no reason not to beef up the defensive line with a veteran if you can do it at a cheap cost of roughly $4 million per year.
The only downside with Mitchell right now is that he missed seven games with the Dolphins in 2016 due to a lingering calf injury. However, that was the first season in his career where he didn’t play in at least 12 games.
The defensive tackle was originally selected by the Texans in the third round of the 2010 draft. After spending four seasons with Houston, Mitchell moved on to Miami, where he spent the following three seasons (2014-16). During his time in Miami, Mitchell started in 21 of the 37 games he played in.
Although free agency doesn’t technically start until March 9, the 49ers were able to sign Mitchell after he was released in a cost-cutting move that also saw the Dolphins cut cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and defensive lineman Mario Williams.