After completing his junior season at the University of South Florida in 2009, Carlton Mitchell declared early for the 2010 NFL Draft, was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round and went on to make the 53-man roster to start the season. In a happy coincidence, the Browns’ regular-season opener that year was against the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium…where Mitchell had played his home games as a wide receiver for the USF Bulls.
Unfortunately, however, Mitchell was named one of the Browns’ eight game-day inactives for that Week One matchup with the Bucs, so he didn’t get a chance to suit up in front of the home crowd. Now, maybe, he’ll get another chance.
On Tuesday, the Buccaneers signed Mitchell to their 90-man offseason roster, meaning he will be going to training camp at One Buc Place, barring any additional roster moves. That will give him an opportunity to make the regular-season roster and extend an NFL career that has seen him appear in 16 games and record three catches.
The 6-3, 215-pound Mitchell did eventually crack the game-day active list as a rookie in 2010, appearing in five games without a reception. In 2011, he made the Browns roster again and saw action in 11 contests, contributing those three receptions for 31 yards. The following summer he was hampered by a leg injury during the preseason and was released by Cleveland in late August. He was signed briefly by the Jaguars in November but was a free agent when the season ended. The Cowboys quickly signed Mitchell to a reserve/future contract in January, and he spent five months with Dallas before being released last Friday. The Bucs made sure he wasn’t out of a job for long.