The Patriots have been seeking a potential trade partner in a deal involving Mitchell, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per sources informed of the situation.
Selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft out of Georgia, Mitchell looked to be a future key contributor at the receiver position, catching 32 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games (six starts). Even more impressive, the rookie posted those numbers after suffering a gruesome dislocated elbow during the preseason.
His star appeared to be ascending as the Patriots made a run to the title, catching six passes for 70 yards in New England's legendary come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. But injuries again became a problem for the wideout, as a knee issue forced New England to place Mitchell on injured reserve and trade for Phillip Dorsett just before the 2017 season kicked off.
After spending the better part of a year working on getting healthy, Mitchell's status was still uncertain, with the receiver telling the Boston Herald "we'll see" when asked if he'd be ready for training camp. Mitchell prefaced that statement by saying "I'm good" when asked about the status of his knee, and this latest news sheds a little more light on a situation that might be about more than just a 10-month-old injury.
Pelissero reported later, per sources, that Mitchell went to have a procedure on his knee Monday.
Should he return to the form he displayed in 2016, Mitchell is undoubtedly worth a flier taken by an interested team. It's peculiar that New England would be actively shopping Mitchell with Julian Edelman's four-game suspension considered, but then again, the unconventional is starting to become the norm for the Patriots.
Wide receiver Kenny Britt will start camp on the physically unable to perform list because of a hamstring he tweaked during minicamp, a source told Pelissero. He is expected to be back at practice next week.