If you don't remember former Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, nobody would blame you. Mitchell was, well, not great during his time in Philadelphia. He did play a key role in one of the craziest plays in recent Eagles' history, but after the Eagles selected him in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, he caught just 90 passes and scored just five touchdowns in four seasons. Not exactly the most memorable run.
One thing many Eagles fans do remember about Mitchell was that his far more memorable—and successful—teammate Donovan McNabb didn't really like him. Mitchell never knew why, but he talked about his frosty relationship with McNabb during an interview with Philly sports station 97.5 The Fanatic on Wednesday and tried to explain the dynamic between him and McNabb.
Mitchell claimed that he tried everything to get on McNabb's good side. "The things that I would do for him to try to win him over...I would damn near try to babysit his kids," Mitchell said. "[I'd] stay in Friday nights and babysit his children so he could go out and have fun and come back home." He went on to say that he did this in an effort to get more passes thrown his way. "Just throw me the ball, that’s all I want," he said. "It was that bad where I didn’t know what to do."
While he claims his proposal to babysit was kind of a joke, he did add that he made earnest efforts to win over McNabb and said that "the fact that the fans loved me more than they loved him, it pissed him off." Mitchell also joked that his relationship with McNabb was so strained that even strippers used to ask him about it. At the time, he didn't realize how bad it was, but according to him, the strippers did. "It’s funny. I was sitting up in the strip club at Delilah’s. I had strippers coming up to me and ask, 'Why does he hate you?'" Mitchell said. "I’m like, damn. I’m trying to have me a nice gentleman’s drink, and they say, 'Why does he hate you so much?' I’m like what, 'What are you talking about?' Everybody knew it but me, and that’s what the problem was. When the strippers know there’s a problem, it’s time to move on to different things."
Good words to live by!
Mitchell did eventually "move on to different things" as they suggested. He held out of Eagles' mini-camp in 2004 and was released. Then, he tried to catch on with the Chiefs, but his tenure in Kansas City was cut short due to knee surgery. That led to short stints with the Packers, Cowboys, Browns, Titans, and Ravens, but he never made another NFL roster and didn't play another down on the league. Oh, and he was later sentenced to 37 months in prison for tax evasion.
So yeah, it doesn't seem McNabb did him any favors in the short or long run.