Bo Levi Mitchell on future with Hamilton Tiger-Cats: ‘I don’t foresee myself being here’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Veteran quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell plans to discuss his future with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ leadership over the coming days but appears skeptical that he will return to the team for a second season in 2024.

“If you’re not playing your highest-paid player on the team in a playoff game, I don’t foresee myself probably being here,” Mitchell told TSN’s Matthew Scianitti following Saturday’s loss in the East Semi-Final.

Mitchell was relegated to backup duty for Hamilton’s playoff clash with the Montreal Alouettes after being displaced atop the depth chart by Matthew Shiltz. Shiltz struggled mightily, throwing for 144 yards and one interception while playing deep into the fourth quarter before finally giving way to Hamilton’s million-dollar man.

Head coach Orlondo Steinauer maintained throughout the week that both Mitchell and Shiltz would see time under centre, though it’s clear he planned to play Shiltz almost exclusively. Mitchell indicated after the 27-12 loss that he was healthy and wasn’t surprised that he didn’t enter the game until late in the fourth quarter.

The 33-year-old completed one-of-four pass attempts for six yards and threw an interception in a little over five minutes of work. Hamilton was down two scores when he entered the contest.

It was a disappointing first season for Mitchell in Steeltown. The future Canadian Football Hall of Famer played only six regular season games due to injury and stumbled through his worst statistical season, completing 58.5 percent of his passes for 1,031 yards, six touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.

“Life’s going to have ups and downs, you’re going to have good years and bad years,” said Mitchell. “I love this team, I love this organization. I hope I can be here in some capacity because I would love to be a part of it again but that’s obviously for other people to decide.”

An up-and-down season for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats ended with a thud in their playoff loss to Montreal and now the player tasked with being the face of the team is openly pondering his future with the organization.

Mitchell was dealt to Hamilton last November after a decade with the Calgary Stampeders. He signed a lucrative three-year contract with the Ticats in January to become the latest face of the franchise. The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player has two years remaining on that deal, which will pay him in excess of $500,000 per season.

Josh Smith has been writing about the Ticats and the CFL since 2010 and was sporting his beard way before it was cool. Will be long after, too.