“That’s added to the dilemma, right?” Lombardi said, referring to Mitchell’s $3.5 million contract that would be ‘freed up cap space’ should he go on long-term injured reserve. “On the one hand, this is the first time in the last couple weeks where everything has been positive on Willie, in terms of his progress. But, it kind of circles around out there because…the hard part is it’s hard enough making decisions when you have all the facts. In this case, and in so many of these cases, we’re making decisions based upon assumptions we MIGHT think will be facts two months from now. This job is hard enough when you have all the facts and lord knows you guys remind us when we mess up. Now we have to make some of these decisions on assumptions that might or might not be the case. And that’s just the way it is with Willie. We all know how good a player this guy is, how instrumental he is, his fit with his partner (Slava) Voynov. And now all the indications are positive in terms of his health. Now, that could change tomorrow. I can’t give you a definitive answer, it’s a moving target. But, every time we do something now we have to put that off to the side and say ‘OK, if we give this player this, and bring this player here, and if Willie comes back this is what happens, if he doesn’t come back this happens. Again, all I can say is it’s definitely a consideration every time we make a decision here right now and it’s not easy.”
Of course, Mitchell’s availability to play will likely have a huge impact on the team’s ability to sign Rob Scuderi – something Lombardi also spoke about on the call (see comments linked below).
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