The deal long looked like a mere formality, particularly after Mitchell posted a farewell to the Roosters on his Instagram page before the club had even granted his release.
However, it wasn’t all as much a formality as we may believe.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Bulldogs were considered unlucky to miss out on Mitchell and were even closer to landing the signature of the 22-year-old than West Tigers. who many believed to be the close runner up in the race to sign Mitchell.
The Bulldogs didn’t jump in head-first like other suitors, instead choosing to monitor the ongoing discussion. The Bulldogs did hold some meetings with Mitchell and a handshake agreement was even reached between the two parties on November 21.
The Bulldogs cooled off on Mitchell not long after that meeting and that left the Rabbitohs as the last standing option for Mitchell.
The Rabbitohs are already adjusting their salary cap to allow Mitchell to stay long term once his original deal expires at the end of 2020.