Malcolm Mitchell’s New England Patriots tenure appears to be nearing its end.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Tuesday reported the Patriots are “poised to move on from (Mitchell) and his health issues” after the 25-year-old wide receiver missed all of last season with a knee injury.
This came one day after NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported New England was “seeking a potential trade partner” for Mitchell, whom it selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Several outlets also reported Monday that Mitchell underwent a procedure on his knee ahead of Patriots training camp, the first practice of which will be held Thursday.
Mitchell showed great potential as a rookie and capped his debut season with a pivotal six-catch, 70-yard performance in the Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. A preseason injury derailed his 2017 campaign, however, with Mitchell returning to practice in late December but never making it back to the active roster.
The lingering questions surrounding Mitchell’s health — he did not participate in any of the practices that were open to the media this spring, and his knees have been a concern since before he entered the NFL — make it unlikely the Patriots would receive a substantial return for the young wideout if they do decide to move him. Mitchell has played in just 16 of a possible 38 games (including postseason) since entering the league and surpassed 50 receiving yards just three times.
The Patriots currently have 12 receivers under contract, including Julian Edelman, who is suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season, and Matthew Slater, whose primary role is on special teams.
Rounding out the group are incumbents Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Kenny Britt, newcomers Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson and Braxton Berrios and 2017 practice squadders Riley McCarron and Cody Hollister. The team also on Monday re-signed 2016 seventh-round pick Devin Lucien after cutting him last summer.
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