"This is part of the business, but this is why we are where we are," Mikell, a potential free agent, recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "This is why Reggie White fought for free agency, so you have the opportunity to make more money. If you stay here, you're going to make less money. ... It's just business."
"I talked to Dawk after he left, and he was pretty upset about it," Mikell said. "For me personally, seeing how upset he was, I think I started preparing for that back then. Mike Lewis and Dawk, seeing those guys go, I was like, 'Mentally be ready for that day, because it's going to happen, and it might happen sooner than you think.'
"I know once Howie (Howard Roseman) got the job of general manager, every guy wants to put their own stamp on the team," Mikell added. "They want to bring their own guys in, and you can see it. Look at the turnover since the Super Bowl year. Me and (David) Akers and Jamaal Jackson were the last guys, and sure enough, they draft a safety, a kicker and a center/guard. The writing has been on the wall."
"It was cool," Mikell said. "But no vibe either way, which probably means to me that I won't be back. So it's kind of weird."
About a month ago, Mikell participated in workouts with several teammates, but he said he wasn't invited when he overheard a group of them making plans to run through seven-on-seven drills.
"I was like, 'Damn, I really am a free agent,' " he said.
Mikell said he had a good conversation with Reid in 2009, when the Eagles decided not to offer him a second contract extension.
"The one thing he told me was, 'No matter what, when it's all said and done, when you keep playing, you're going to make a lot of money. You're going to be fine,' " Mikell said. "I took that as, yeah, I'm going to make a lot of money, but maybe not here.
Mikell, an eight-year pro, posted 88 tackles last season and also had one forced fumble and three interceptions. He became a full-time starter in 2008.