Former Panthers S Mike Mitchell announces that he's joining Steelers

Mike Mitchell adds much-needed depth to the Steelers' secondary. (USATSI)
Mike Mitchell adds much-needed depth to the Steelers' secondary. (USATSI)

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Former Panthers free safety Mike Mitchell announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that he's headed to Pittsburgh.

A Raiders 2009 second-round pick out of Ohio University, Mitchell played four seasons in Oakland before signing with the Panthers in 2013. The 26-year-old made 15 starts for the NFC South champs, and had 8 passes defended to go along with 4 interceptions. According to, Mitchell ranked 35th in the league among safeties, 10 spots ahead of the man he'll replace on the roster: Ryan Clark, who is eight years older.

Mitchell will battle 2013 third-rounder Shamarko Thomas for the starting job opposite Troy  Polamalu, who played in all 16 games last season.

Meanwhile, the move likely means that the Steelers won't target safety in the first round. Instead, expect the team to focus on any number of other needs with cornerback, defensive line and wide receiver among them.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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