The powerhouse Hawks already have supreme talent Lance Franklin shedding extreme uncertainty on his future as a restricted agent and now Mitchell looms as a potential departure completely free of choice.
Under controversial AFL regulations heading into the second season of free agency, the brilliant Franklin could leave the Hawks if he gets a better offer to go and Hawthorn is unable to match the deal.
Franklin, 26, could head west and back to his home state of Western Australia to continue his distinguished AFL career or even north of the Victorian border in what would be a massive contract to play with one of the league's formation franchises at Greater Western Sydney or Gold Coast.
Mitchell, 30, is expected to consider offers to end his colourful career elsewhere as a totally unrestricted free agent when his contract expires at the end of this season.
It is understood that at least one super power club is already into a strategy to possibly lure the four-time Hawks fairest-and-best and 2008 premiership ace.
The most experienced Hawk with 221 senior outings is considered durable and highly skilled into the twilight of an accomplished career that could still offer an outfit on the brink of a flag a highly competent midfield play-maker to cap off a gifted on-ball battery.
Mitchell is among 55 unrestricted free agents confirmed by league officials on Friday.
The AFL announced 16 restricted free agents, including Essendon champion and reigning Brownlow medallist Jobe Watson, Collingwood midfield ball-magnet Dale Thomas and West Coast scoring supremo Mark LeCras.
Restricted AFL Free Agents
Adelaide Crows: Scott Thompson, Nathan Van Berlo
Brisbane Lions: Joel Patfull
Carlton: Eddie Betts
Collingwood: Nick Maxwell, Dale Thomas
Essendon: Jobe Watson
Hawthorn: Lance Franklin
Melbourne: Aaron Davey, Colin Sylvia
Port Adelaide: Alipate Carlile, Kane Cornes
St Kilda: Nick Dal Santo
West Coast: Mark Le Cras
Western Bulldogs: Adam Cooney, Dale Morris
Unrestricted Free Agents
Adelaide Crows: Graham Johncock, Jason Porplyzia, Brent Reilly, Ben Rutten
Brisbane Lions: Simon Black, Jonathan Brown
Carlton: Andrew Carazzo, Heath Scotland
Collingwood: Alan Didak, Ben Johnson, Alan Toovey
Essendon: Dustin Fletcher, David Hille, Nathan Lovett-Murray, Jason Winderlich
Fremantle: Michael Johnson
Geelong Cats: Paul Chapman, Joel Corey, Corey Enright, Josh Hunt, Matthew Stokes
Hawthorn: Max Bailey, Xavier Ellis, Brent Guerra, Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Michael Osborne
North Melbourne: Michael Firrito, Brent Harvey, Scott McMahon, Drew Petrie
Port Adelaide: Brett Ebert, Tom Logan, Matt Thomas
Richmond: Daniel Jackson, Luke McGuane, Chris Newman, Shane Tuck, Matthew White
St Kilda: Jason Blake, Lenny Hayes, Justin Koschitzke, Stephen Milne
Sydney Swans: Jude Bolton, Adam Goodes, Nick Malceski
West Coast: Dean Cox, Andrew Embley, Darren Glass, Mark Nicoski, Adam Selwood, Beau Waters
Western Bulldogs: Dylan Addison, Daniel Cross, Daniel Giansiracusa