Freddie Mitchell was never afraid to run his mouth during his playing career. Mitchell may have even believed he was just a tad bit better of a player then he truly was, but he has never shied away from being honest. During his playing career Mitchell believed that Donovan McNabb did not get him the ball enough and felt the former Eagles quarterback was athletic, but did not truly comprehend the “West Coast Offense.” Another mind boggling component to Mitchell is the fact that he is still relevant in Philadelphia after having just 90 catches in 4 years as an Eagle. Of course sports fan will never forget his amazing catch on 4th and 26 against the Packers in the 2003 playoffs, but outside of that he will always be remembered for running his mouth and never piping down.
At this current time Mitchell is considering pursuing a Masters Degree at UCLA while trying to find a job that will offer him health insurance. He is truly fired up about the current NFL lockout and let me tell you he didn’t disappoint in the following interview with WIP in Philadelphia on his thoughts about all the controversy surrounding the NFL. Freddie Mitchell joined WIP in Philadelphiawith Howard Eskin and Ike Reese to discuss his feelings about what’s going on for the players during the lockout, Drew Brees’s thoughts on the owners’ CBA strategy once Gene Upshaw passed away, the players not truly understanding the new CBA proposals during the lockout, the player workouts during the lockout and Andy Reid texting Kevin Kolb that he’ll do “what’s is best for him”.
Your feelings about what’s going on with the players right now?
“I think on the players side the problem with them is they’re not informed of anything. They don’t understand how much you know they are trying to get help. On the other side, the owners, they’re onto something saying ‘You know what we understand that we own the rights to everything’, so I think the players are going to miss out more than anybody. They’ll [owners] make up that money. You know what I’m saying.” Drew Brees, the “Kool- aid” drinking quarterback, implies that the NFL knew there was “blood in the water” once Gene Upshaw passed away and the owners knew they could go after the players while they were looking for a new executive director? What are your thoughts? What is he talking about if Gene Upshaw was in the owners hip pocket?
“The thing about it is once they saw that [Gene] Upshaw was making that $3 or $4 million dollars a year and players were just like what’s going on? On that side it was wrong. I don’t know what he [Drew Brees] is talking about either. As far as I’m concerned I’m old school with it. I mean if they’re the owners of the team I think they should be able to do what they want and the players need to understand that they are expendable. It is what it is. I agree to disagree on some things that we are fighting for like health benefits and stuff like that because I’m five years out of the league and I’m no longer insured by the NFL, so I’m looking around to get insured and stuff, but I heard they turned it down? Did you tell me they turned it down?” [Editors Note: Follow-up is the next question below]
The last CBA offer proposed by the owners included lifetime COBRA benefits. Your thoughts? Is it obvious to you that the players do not understand what the owners are offering them?
“Oh my god I would die for that right now. I think we would do better to have retired players…a lot more retired players come in and get involved with everything else because these guys, they’re making that money and they really don’t care. They’re really just chilling and relaxing knowing they have a job, so I just don’t know. It’s a bad situation, but I really do think that this season won’t happen. I really don’t think so. I think the owners have money. They have loan money, so they’re okay.”
What do you think of these workouts the players are having right now?
“It’s stupid. It’s stupid. I don’t understand what they are doing. They are basically showing their poker cards. Why are you doing this? You don’t see the owners stressing out or whatever else. You see the teams going out and having individual workouts. I think it’s dumb. I disagree with them [owners] even knowing that they [players] are doing that.”
Do you believe this report that Andy Reid texted Kevin Kolb and said “I’ll do what’s best for you?”
“Yeah okay [laughing]. Believe that if you want Kevin. Believe that if you want. Hey. I’ll tell you what Andy Reid. ..I love him to death. He’s like my father and whatever else, but I’m gonna keep it real. Andy is going to do what is best for the Philadelphia Eagles. I tried when I was going on after we lost the Super Bowl [XXXIX] or whatever else…I went in there and I did not want to go to the media or whatever else I said ‘Hey Coach Reid I had problems with Donovan McNabb. You know I can’t eat off of 12 catches a year. I need more catches. I’m doing all the things with the blocking and whatever else to make it happen. I need more catches. Donovan will not throw me the ball.
Andy Reid was like ‘Okay Fred well just don’t tell nobody. You don’t have to come to this next mini-camp. We’re going to try to…I know a couple of teams and we’re going to try to trade you.’ At the end of the day what he tried to do was he tried to put a price tag on me that nobody was even going to touch. When they found out that they wasn’t going to touch me, he released me, and then the blackball began with all kinds of dirt saying I was a cancer to the team. I talk too much and everything else. It’s funny because you never heard a teammate complain about me. You never heard that or whatever else, but he put the cancer [comment] on. Kevin Kolb do not think them guys or anybody in the NFL is your friend. The only friend that you have is your agent and if you’re a left or right-handed quarterback is your arm. That’s it. Them guys at the end of the day they are going to go and save their job, save their butt, and go out and do what’s best for the Philadelphia Eagles. You need to do what you need to do.”