Mitchell to report to Argos; future with team still unclear Staff

4/24/2013 8:13:44 PM

While Khalif Mitchell remains vague about his future in Toronto, he says he will be reporting to Argonauts training camp.

Toronto's recently-acquired defensive tackle appeared on TSN Radio 1050's The Drive with Dave Naylor on Wednesday to address rumours that he would not report to camp.

"All I can tell my Toronto fans is, you know, I'm definitely a Toronto Argonaut at the time," Mitchell said before clarifying that that did not necessarily mean he would be suiting up for the team once the regular season starts.

"Camp starts on [June] 1st and that's where everybody is expected to actually be," Mitchell said. "I had to make my case to my coaches and talk to them and let them know that I had some opportunities that are going on and I wanted to make sure I stressed those importantly."

The Argos acquired the All-Star tackle on April 2 from the B.C. Lions in exchange for defensive end Adrian Awasom and the rights to a negotiation list player.

But Mitchell has not yet committed to a season in the double-blue.

"I just had to let them know where I [am coming] from and what reasons – besides any financial or different types of situations – as to why I'm actually considering staying on the West Coast," he told TSN.

Mitchell's advisor Guy Gillingham told TSN 10 days after Mitchell's trade to the Argos that he was "1,000 per cent" sure the tackle would not be reporting to Toronto due to his desire to stay on the West coast.

At that time it was believed that Mitchell's preference was to be traded to the Calgary Stampeders or Edmonton Eskimos, or have the trade between the Lions and Argos reversed and have the Lions release him.

It is believed Mitchell will seek employment in the National Football League after the 2013 season. A Virginia Beach native, Mitchell spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons on the San Francisco 49ers practice roster.

"Khalif just wants a fresh start and wants to play his final season in the CFL," said Gillingham.

The 28-year-old was named a CFL All-Star in 2011 after recording six sacks and 33 tackles in 14 games. He won the Grey Cup with the Lions that same season.

He recorded 15 tackles and two sacks in 12 games for the Lions in 2012, despite missing two games due to suspension.

The suspension – for hyper-extending Edmonton Eskimos offensive lineman Simeon Rottier's arm – was not the only trouble Mitchell got into in 2012. He was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed sum for tweeting derogatory remarks.