The Houston Texans started the season with Terrance Mitchell and Vernon Hargreaves III as their outside cornerbacks, with Desmond King playing the nickel. King eventually moved outside, and Hargreaves was released. Tavierre Thomas moved to the slot. Lonnie Johnson Jr. finally was moved back to cornerback, where he could play Cover Two and Cover Three, in a position that meets his skillset. Finally, after all these years.
Mitchell wasn’t good last year. Frankly, he stunk. In Cover One, he gave up easy receptions outside.
He struggled playing the deep third when Houston moved to playing more Cover Three.
He struggled making tackles and consistently gave up additional yards after contact, even when playing the flat.
I often say, you know, you can watch football. Watching every Texans game multiple times, including the coach’s film, it became clear that Mitchell wasn’t a starting caliber NFL cornerback, and that he wasn’t one of Nick Caserio’s competent decisions. There wasn’t a scheme, or anything he was particularly good at. Mitchell hurt Houston more than he helped them in 2021. The Texans were better off with Thomas, King, and Johnson Jr. playing cornerback than having Mitchell out on the field.
Mitchell was one of the few multi-year contracts that Caserio handed out last offseason; the corner signed a two-year, $7.5 million contract to come to Houston after having been in Cleveland the previous season. Yesterday Houston released Mitchell, and the Texans will eat $250,000 in dead money to create $3.1 million in cap space.
Texans informed CB Terrance Mitchell, who started 13 games last season, that they are releasing him, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2022
Expect for the Texans to move on from Desmond King as well. He wasn’t every effective as an outside cornerback; he is better off playing zone coverage in the slot and staying far away from ever having to play man coverage. The Texans should roll with Johnson Jr. on the outside, Thomas in the slot, and Mystery Cornerback X that they will add this offseason to replace King.
The cuts have begun. Mitchell was an easy decision to make.