Two years on the outside looking in has taught former NFL first- round draft pick Freddie Mitchell to stop trying to boil the ocean.
The one-time Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver was one of three ex-NFLers who worked out under the watchful eye of Argonaut coaches and management personnel yesterday at the U of T's Varsity Centre dome.
"I wear my heart on my sleeve," said the 28-year-old Mitchell, who was the 25th pick overall in the 2001 draft.
"But the thing about it is I've come to realize you can't boil the ocean. If something's wrong and if you can't fix it you can't say anything. I've definitely learned that.''
Mitchell never quite lived up to the Eagles' expectation as he gained more media space for his exploits off, rather than on, the field.
He labelled himself with a number of nicknames such as "First Down Freddie," the "People's Champ" and "Fred Ex."
He trash-talked the New England Patriots secondary prior to Super Bowl XXIX much to the consternation of his teammates. Then in interviews following the game, which the Eagles lost, he complained about being overshadowed by Terrell Owens and blasted quarterback Donovan McNabb for not having the faith to throw him the ball.
This led to him being released before the start of the Eagles' 2005 training camp. He signed as a free agent with Kansas City, but was cut before the start of the season.
While he claimed he's learned to be more careful about what he says he showed he hasn't lost his sense of humour.
Asked if Argos could expect him to be in training camp, Mitchell replied: "If the numbers are right I definitely would like to play here.
"I'm expecting a little bit of (David) Beckham money," he added, breaking into a laugh. "As soon as they give me a Beckham contract I'll be here."
Argo GM Adam Rita is more likely to offer Mitchell much – very much – less than what the soccer star makes.
But he added he's looking forward to getting the receiver under contract.
"I see he has a great work ethic, quickness and it doesn't look like he's lost any speed," said Rita as he watched Mitchell sprint downfield to get under a toss from ex-Detroit Lions quarterback Mike McMahon.
"I think he's a little hungrier than he was in the past. So we're going to give the guy a chance; all he has to do is perform. I don't care if a guy talks a lot as long as he produces."
Rita added he likes McMahon's athletic skills and his toughness.
"He looks like he has the charm and charisma, tenacity and competitive spirit and obviously he's got a strong arm, quick feet and he can run," said Rita.
"If he wants to come up and be a player for a long time this is the place for him."
McMahon, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions, eventually wound up with the Eagles and started seven games in 2005 in place of the injured McNabb.
McMahon was non-committal about whether he would end up signing with the Argos. He said he still has aspirations to play in the NFL.
Wide receiver Eugene Baker, the third player to work out yesterday, has been in the NFL since 1999, but has seen little playing time. He was last with Carolina Panthers.