The list of Arizona Wildcats in the NFL during the 2019 season was a short one, and the number of former UA players that will participate in the playoffs is even smaller. But not as small as it was a few days ago, thanks to the San Francisco 49ers.
According to James Palmer of NFL Network, the No. 1 seed in the NFC has signed defensive lineman Earl Mitchell for the postseason run.
49ers are bringing back veteran defensive lineman Earl Mitchell per source. Could help with some depth on the DL and has always been a solid player against the run.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) December 31, 2019
Mitchell, 32, last played in 2018 when he started 12 games for the 49ers in the second year with the team. After being released he signed with the Seattle Seahawks this past summer but didn’t make the team, and in November he announced his retirement.
A third-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2010, Mitchell played there from 2010-13 then spent 2014-16 with the Miami Dolphins. In 130 career games, 66 starts, Mitchell has 6.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss.
This would be Mitchell’s fourth playoff appearance, having made it in 2011-12 with Houston and 2016 with Miami.
Mitchell played for the UA from 2006-09, starting out as a running back before moving to defense and logging eight sacks with 18 tackles for loss over his final two seasons.
He joins kicker Nick Folk (New England Patriots), defensive back Dane Cruikshank (Tennessee Titans) and DE/LB Reggie Gilbert (Titans) as former Wildcats in the playoffs.