Broncos Will Not Pursue 3-Time Pro Bowler: Report

Broncos

Getty Denver Broncos GM George Paton speaks during the NFL combine.

The Denver Broncos have been a rumored destination for free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu over the past few days. However, the team appears to not be currently pursuing Mathieu. According to Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado, a source said on March 31 that the Broncos are not “in” on Mathieu.

Mathieu is one of the most coveted free agents left on the market. In his career, he has been a first-team All-Pro selection three times (2015, 2019 and 2020).

Last season, he recorded 76 combined tackles, 3 interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries in 16 games; he was selected to the Pro Bowl.

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The Broncos Have a Need at Safety

On paper, Mathieu is a great fit for the Broncos. With veteran Kareem Jackson unsigned, the Broncos need to find a replacement at strong safety.

Mathieu is a versatile playmaker, who played free safety, strong safety and slot cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs. Theoretically, he could take over Jackson’s role, and he could be another slot cornerback option alongside K’Waun Williams.

Since the Broncos are out on Mathieu according to Allbright’s source, the NFL draft appears to be their best option. There are several talented safety prospects in this year’s draft class. One name to watch will be Virginia’s Nick Grant, who had a visit with the Broncos last week.

Additionally, the Broncos have a few internal options on their roster including Caden Sterns, Jamar Johnson and P.J. Locke.


Where Will Mathieu Sign?

Mathieu should command a large deal on the open market. Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic reported that Mathieu’s deal could be comparable to Harrison Smith’s extension with the Minnesota Vikings.

“Mathieu is older than some of the other free-agent safeties on the market, but he should still find a big deal,” Kapadia wrote. “Harrison Smith got an extension from the Minnesota Vikings worth $16 million per year before the 2021 season at the age of 32. Mathieu could receive a similar deal.”

The Broncos currently have approximately $14.8 million in available cap space per Spotrac. To sign Mathieu at that rate the Broncos would have to restructure other contracts to open up more cap space.

So, where will Mathieu end up? The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts are two teams with cap space that could be interested.

With the Saints, Mathieu would return to his hometown of New Orleans. Mathieu was born there, and he played college football at LSU.

Signing Mathieu would boost the Saints’ secondary, which lost safety Marcus Williams to the Baltimore Ravens.

Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson hinted at a potential Mathieu signing on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Colts are trying to win now following the acquisition of 36-year-old quarterback Matt Ryan, and to be real competitors, they will need to improve their secondary. Last season, the Colts allowed the second-most passing touchdowns in the NFL (32).

With cap space and a clear need at safety, the Colts seem like the best fit for Mathieu on paper.

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