Mitchell's 'surprised, stunned'

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

Surprised and stunned.

Mookie Mitchell used both of those words to describe his feelings over being cut by the Edmonton Eskimos.

The CFL receiving legend is on the street after head coach Danny Maciocia chose to keep newcomers T. J. Acree and Fred Stamps yesterday during cut-down day in the CFL.

"It was tough because I thought it was pretty much over with after I did the meeting (Friday) night," said Mitchell.

TOOK PAY CUT

"I knew (Maciocia) still said he had a couple of more cuts to do. But I didn't think I was one of the cuts."

Mitchell also thought he was safe because he took a pay cut this off-season to help the club with the new salary cap.

"I thought everything would be fine," he remarked last night.

But in the end, it didn't come down to money. It came down to age and long-term contracts.

Mitchell is 35-years-old.

"We got two guys (Acree and Stamps) that are 24 and 25 (respectively) that have had a pretty good training camp," said Maciocia.

"From my end of it, do I stick with Mookie hopefully for another year and let one of these guys go?

"Or do I invest time in these guys because they have made a longer commitment here - they are both locked up for three years?

"I just had to take a business decision."

But that still didn't lessen the blow when it came to cutting Mitchell, who has been a main receiving threat in Edmonton since coming from Toronto in 2004.

In fact, Maciocia admitted he took the news harder than Mitchell.

"It was extremely difficult," said Maciocia on cutting the 10-year CFL veteran.

"Mookie Mitchell is a very good football player and a tremendous human being.

"It was hard. It was hard."

But at the same time, Maciocia hopes Mitchell lands on his feet with another CFL team - and that might happen as early as today.

The Sun has learned that Mitchell has already had two discussions with Toronto Argo brass, including head coach Pinball Clemons.

AN ARGO AGAIN?

The Texas Tech product played seven years with the Argos - becoming the club's second leading receiver in history - before leaving for salary reasons at the end of the 2003 season.

"Pinball didn't like how it went down the first time I got released in 2003 because we have been friends since I have been in this league since 1997," explained Mitchell.

"So he said he was going to talk with their general manager and their vice presidents in (this) morning and then he was going to give me a call - if they can make things work."

If Mitchell doesn't latch on with another team, he will leave the CFL with 11,648 receiving yards and 92 touchdowns.

He's a two-time Grey Cup champion and a six-time 1,000 yard receiver.


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