||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|Date of birth:October 10, 1979|
|Place of birth: Winter Springs, Florida|
|High school: Winter Park (FL) Lake Howell|
|College: South Florida|
|NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47|
|Debuted in 2003 for the Kansas City Chiefs|
|Last played in 2010 for the New Orleans Saints|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2010
Kawika Uilani Mitchell (born October 10, 1979) is a former American football linebacker. He was originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round in the 2003 NFL Draft. He has also been a member of the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills. He played college football at South Florida.
Mitchell attended Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida, and as a senior, he was named Class 6A player of the year as well as a first team All-Florida pick and finished his senior season with 110 tackles on defense, and 41 rushing attempts for 225 yards with an average of 5.5 yards, and five touchdowns on offense. In middle school he played Pop Warner Football for the Eagles, where he carried an underweight second string defensive lineman, Brian Schoenbaum, on his back 70 yards into the end zone during practice.
Kawika Mitchell started his college football career with the University of Georgia, but transferred to the South Florida Bulls after his freshman year. During his career he made 367 tackles, a school record, and he was nominated for the Butkus Award as a junior and senior.
New York Giants
On March 26, 2007, he agreed to a one year, $1 million deal with the New York Giants. Although he had played all of his career at middle linebacker, he won the weak side linebacker spot from Gerris Wilkinson and started the 2007 season alongside Giants Pro Bowl MLB Antonio Pierce and recently converted strong side LB Mathias Kiwanuka. After Kiwanuka fractured his fibula in the tenth week of the season, Reggie Torbor moved into the starting lineup with Mitchell and Pierce. Mitchell struggled in season-opening losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. His play rapidly improved thereafter, and he made game-changing plays in critical wins over the Washington Redskins in week 3 and the Buffalo Bills in week 16. Mitchell suffered a knee sprain in the season finale against the undefeated New England Patriots, but came back to register the first of five sacks for the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
Mitchell became an unrestricted free agent after the 2007-2008 season after spending just one season with the Giants.
On February 29, 2008, the Buffalo Bills signed Mitchell to a five-year contract for $17.5M. Mitchell was expected to take over the starting weakside linebacker position that was shared by Coy Wire and Keith Ellison in 2007.
On September 10, 2010, two days before their season started, the Bills put Mitchell on the IR ending his season. On October 2, 2010 the Buffalo Bills came to an injury settlement with the Linebacker and released him, making him an unrestricted free agent. On December 8, 2010 he signed with the New Orleans Saints.
New Orleans Saints
On December 8, 2010 Mitchell signed with the New Orleans Saints where he suddenly retired after eight years in the NFL.
Mitchell and his wife Billie have a son, Lewai (pronounced Levi) and a daughter, Eliza.
Mitchell donated his game check from week 15 to Gridiron Greats which helps retired football players in dire need.
- Brandon Masuoka, "Linebacker Mitchell set for happy homecoming", Honolulu Advertiser, January 31, 2003.
- Mullins, Michael D. "Was it the shoes? Local fan says he has secret of Giants' success, as city plans celebration", Hudson Reporter, February 19, 2008. Accessed February 6, 2013. "City officials said that besides quarterback Eli Manning, who lives in the Hudson Tea Building on 15th Street, linebackers Kawika Mitchell and Mathias Kiwanuka are Hoboken residents."
- The Buffalo News: Latest Local News: Bills reach five-year deal with Giants linebacker
- Bills acquire LB Mitchell | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle
- MVP Gotham - Buffalo Bills place Kawika Mitchell on the IR
- Buffalo Bills Bio