Raiders lose Mitchell to Carolina
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Mike Mitchell, who was a surprising second-round draft choice of the late Al Davis in 2009, has left Oakland.

The backup strong safety has signed an undisclosed contract with the Carolina Panthers as an unrestricted free agent.

"Just wanna say thanks from the bottom of my heart to Mr. Davis and raidernation for a great four years," Mitchell tweeted. "Oakland will always be in my heart!!

"That said…I look forward to the opportunity to be a Carolina Panther!"

He is the ninth Raiders player to leave since the new league year began on March 12, along with receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, defensive back Michael Huff and defensive end Dave Tollefson, all of whom were cut, and linebacker Philip Wheeler (Miami), defensive tackle Desmond Bryant (Cleveland), defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (Arizona), Mike Goodson (New York Jets) and tight end Brandon Myers (New York Giants), who all signed elsewhere.

[RELATED: Raiders offseason scorecard]

His departure continues second-year general manager Reggie McKenzie's mantra of shedding salary, bad contracts and, it appears, questionable draft picks.

As a result, all seven members of the Raiders' 2009 draft class are now gone — Heyward-Bey, Mitchell, Shaughnessy, Louis Murphy, Slade Norris, Stryker Sulak and Brandon Myers.

Interestingly enough, Mitchell hit Panthers quarterback Cam Newton late last season, prompting Newton to bump the official. No flags were thrown for either incident.

Mitchell played in all 16 games last season, starting two, and had 47 tackles, 26 solo, with a sack, eight quarterback hits, three pressures, two tackles for loss and a pass defensed.

In 61 career games over four years with the Raiders, Mitchell had 145 tackles, 100 solo, with 3 1/2 sacks and two interceptions.