Updated Wed, Mar 19, 2014 3:11 pm
Former Ohio safety Mike Mitchell is taking in the free agency process and his new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mitchell, who’s going into his sixth season in the National Football League, spent his first four seasons as an Oakland Raider before making the move to the Carolina Panthers last year.
This offseason the Pittsburgh Steelers reached out to the former Bobcat and signed Mitchell to a five-year contract worth about $25 million.
“Free agency was great,” Mitchell said in a phone interview Thursday. “Obviously I was able to get a great contract that will most likely retire me in Pittsburgh."
Mitchell, a former second round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, also gave advice to the 15 Ohio football players who participated in this year's pro day in Athens.
“Know who you are and stay true to who you are,” he said. “You’re going to have people telling you that you’re not going to make it coming from Ohio, a school that’s too small…But at the end of the day it’s what you believe."
Last season in Carolina, Mitchell started in all but one game for the Panthers, and he set single-season highs in tackles (74), solo tackles (53), sacks (3.5), interceptions (four) and forced fumbles (two).
He assured Bobcat fans and Steelers fans that they will see an improved player for the upcoming season.
“I’m a physical football player, I like to play the game a certain type of way,” Mitchell said. “But you’re also going to get a highly motivated guy.”