The Philadelphia Eagles are signing standout Canadian Football League cornerback Mitchell White of the Ottawa Redblacks, to a two-year contract.
Terms of the contract weren’t released by White’s Dallas-based agent, Steve Weinberg, who believes it’s the highest signing bonus ever negotiated for a CFL cornerback.
The Eagles signed White, an all-star cornerback for the Grey Cup champions, after he worked out for the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, New York Giants and Cincinnati Bengals.
White played collegiately at Michigan State. His twin brother, Myles White, has played in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
White was a state champion high jumper growing up in Michigan who walked on at Michigan State and earned a scholarship. He had a previous stint with the Oakland Raiders, but didn’t make the final roster and found success up in Canada.
“Playing in the CFL was a great experience for me, and is definitely a path that I would recommend to any college player who fails to initially make an NFL roster, White said in a statement. “In 2013, following my training camp release by the Oakland Raiders, I flew to Canada and joined Montreal’s practice squad. I knew that if I worked hard, I could become a starting cornerback in the CFL, and once I did, my reward would follow. When my original CFL contract expired a year ago, I had several good workouts for NFL teams, but when no bonus money followed. I knew I needed to step up my game to become an even better player to have a future in the NFL.
CFL free agency is quite different from the NFL. My agent, Steve Weinberg, and I negotiated a profitable one-year contract (by CFL standards) with Montreal that included an up-front signing bonus. I thought I was set and focused on having a big year, but right at the end of training camp, the club told me they didn’t think I was playing well, and that I would have to cut my salary by quite a bit just to remain on the team. I was in shock, but fortunately my agent had experience in these matters. After making a few phone calls, Weinberg told he was hearing my play was as good as ever, and that more likely than not, the club was likely playing games with me hoping to save some money.
Knowing I was a good player, and trusting my agent, I rejected Montreal’s “take it or be released” pay cut offer. Following Steve’s advice was one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. After sitting out a few weeks of the season, I signed with the Ottawa Redblacks and had the best year of my professional career! I was selected as a CFL All-Star and helped my team win the Grey Cup championship.
Following the victory parade in Ottawa, I took a few weeks off, and in December, I began traveling to various NFL cities. The routine was almost always the same: I would have a good work out, and then be told to go see the team doctor for a complete physical. Then I met with various coaches and player personnel staff while Steve worked the phones and dealt with the front office salary cap guys.
We both did well and I had numerous NFL offers to choose from. Having options was nice, but in the end, I had to make my choice. I thought my best opportunity was with the Philadelphia Eagles, and I look forward to joining the team in April. Steve did his usual thing – he got me paid! I have been told that my NFL signing bonus is the largest ever paid to a CFL defensive back. Without a doubt, having Steve Weinberg as my agent has been great for my career both on and off the field in the CFL and now the NFL. Steve has been there for me to advise me every step of the way. He is one of the best agents in the business. With good health, I hope to become an All Star in two leagues, and then have a chance to sign one of those second NFL contracts I’ve heard so much about.”