Freddie Mitchell was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft following a glorious college career at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was named first-team All-Pac 10 and a consensus All-American at wide receiver after his senior year.
Too bad Mitchell ended up becoming a Ryan Leaf-caliber NFL bust, as he failed to catch even 100 passes (90) during his massively disappointing and incredibly short four-year career.
Well, now almost ten years after his final NFL snap, Mitchell is in a boatload of trouble and it has nothing to do with the game of football.
Mitchell pled guilty to charges related to tax fraud in federal court this weekend, after allegedly receiving a fraudulent $1 million tax refund. Afterwards, Mitchell contacted an unknown fellow professional athlete and told him that Jamie Russ-Walls, Mitchell’s co-defendant, could generate a similarly plentiful tax return for him if he coughed up a huge $100,000 down payment.
Because of the plea deal that was reached by Mitchell, he will not have to attend court again until his sentencing later this year where he could be punished with up to ten years in prison.
Mitchell is mostly remembered by Eagles’ fan for snagging a very unlikely completion thrown by QB Donovan McNabb on 4th and 26 at the end of their NFC Divisional Playoff victory following the 2004 season. After the catch, the Eagles would go on to win the game, as well as the ensuing NFC Championship, before making an appearance against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Along with his bust-status, Mitchell will be largely remembered around the NFL for his relentless trash-talk and arrogance, with next to no production to back up his words.
My advice for Mitchell, contrary to his previous exploits, will be to keep his mouth shut during his sentencing hearing unless he wants to spend more time in prison than he ever did in the NFL.
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