Broncos Considered ‘Landing Spot’ for 3-Time Pro Bowler

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Getty The Broncos are a potential "landing spot" for free agent Tyrann Mathieu.

The Denver Broncos could be the perfect landing spot for arguably the top free agent left on the market.

According to Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, the Broncos are a “landing spot” for free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu. In fact, Knox predicts the three-time Pro Bowler will sign a two-year deal with Denver.

Knox explains that for teams in a “playoff window, Mathieu makes sense as a short-term option.

“For teams in a playoff window, though, Mathieu can be a terrific asset,” says Knox. “He finished last season with 76 tackles, six passes defended, three interceptions, a sack and a pick-six. He allowed an opposing passer rating of 88.1 in coverage. He earned a third Pro Bowl nod.”

Knox further details how the Broncos’ favorable salary cap situation and the fact that they’re in the same division (AFC West) as Mathieu’s former team — the Kansas City Chiefs — makes them a viable destination for the 29-year-old safety.

“The Broncos are also armed with $14.8 million in cap space and could afford to give Mathieu a fair-market deal,” says Knox. “The question is whether Mathieu is eager to face his former team in the AFC West twice a year. Given how quickly the Chiefs moved to replace Mathieu with Justin Reid, he might jump at the opportunity.”


Why the Broncos Could Sign Mathieu

The Broncos are currently lacking in a viable option at strong safety. Incumbent starter Kareem Jackson remains unsigned. While the Broncos haven’t ruled out the idea of re-signing their starter over the past three seasons, it’s probably safe to assume they’re moving in a different direction.

Jackson will be 34 years old entering the 2022 season and he has 12 seasons of wear-and-tear on his body. Perhaps most important of all, Jackson was one of the few weak links of the Broncos’ No. 3-ranked defense last year. The veteran safety posted a subpar 52.0 defensive grade and a 48.5 grade in coverage last season, ranking in the bottom half of all safeties in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

While Mathieu has his faults, he’s a clear upgrade over Jackson and the Broncos’ current projected starter in 22-year-old Caden Sterns, who has just two starts to his name.

Even during a down season last year, Mathieu still posted a respectable 67.3 defensive grade. He remained one of the best safeties in coverage, posting a 76.4 grade, ranking 16th among all safeties with at least 100 snaps last season. That’s not even mentioning his versatility as a defensive back, as he lined up as a slot cornerback on 206 defensive snaps.

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Report: Mathieu Meets With Saints for First Visit

Despite entering the offseason as one of the top free agents, Mathieu has garnered very little interest thus far. In fact, he just had his first visit to a team facility on Tuesday, April 5. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Mathieu visited with the New Orleans Saints, his hometown team. Mathieu also played college ball at nearby LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“Source: Free agent DB Tyrann Mathieu is heading in to the #Saints facility for a visit while he’s in New Orleans with family and friends,” said Rapoport. “Nothing imminent. But one of the top players available will be at his first facility this offseason.”

NFL insider Jordan Schultz previously reported back in March that the Broncos were one of several teams interested in Mathieu.

It’s hard to project where Mathieu will land. If he’s looking for a big payday and a return to his hometown, the Saints will be the way to go. New Orleans currently has more than $19 million in available cap space.

However, if Mathieu is looking for another shot at a Super Bowl, a decent payday and revenge against his former team (the Chiefs) twice a year, the Broncos are the pick.

 

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