A former Kansas City Chiefs safety not named Tyrann Mathieu has signed elsewhere in the NFL.
Safety Armani Watts has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, according to Colts owner Jim Irsay on Twitter.
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Watts, 26, was a fourth-round pick of the Chiefs in the 2018 NFL draft. During his four seasons in Kansas City, Watts’ primary contributions came as a core special teamer, playing an average of 67% of the team’s special teams snaps per season since entering the league, according to Pro Football Reference.
When his rookie deal expired this year, Watts tested free agency, and now he joins a Colts team that is on the rise after trading for former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Now that Watts is officially not re-signing with Kansas City, the Chiefs’ safety room consists of Justin Reid, Juan Thornhill, Devon Key and Deon Bush.
Mathieu Met With First Team Since Becoming a Free Agent
Speaking of safeties, Mathieu had yet to meet officially with any team since becoming a free agent on March 16. But that has officially come to an end.
Mathieu visited with the New Orleans Saints while he was visiting the area with family and friends, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on April 5.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed the report a few hours later, posting a picture of Mathieu walking into the Super Dome.
Mathieu, despite being the top free agent safety on the market, has yet to decide on where he will play next after three seasons in Kansas City. He was born and raised in New Orleans, so there could interest on Mathieu’s end to join forces with the hometown Saints.
Speaking on ESPN’s SportsCenter on April 3, NFL insider Jeremy Fowler indicated that what he’s been hearing about Mathieu might explain why he’s still a free agent.
“The concern from some teams I talk to is that maybe Mathieu has lost a step because he’s played nine years, a lot of mileage,” Fowler said.
Mathieu will be 30 when the 2022 season starts. It will be his 10th in the league, so the mileage is certainly there. However, that doesn’t mean the Honey Badger doesn’t have plenty of good football left in him, even if he has taken a step back.
Twitter Reacts to Watts Signing With Colts
Twitter users reacted to Watts signing with the Colts.
“I half-expect Armani Watts to get significant snaps and do well in IND and am already prematurely annoyed,” Seth Keysor of The Athletic wrote.
“A team that allowed Dirty Dan to play several hundred snaps in 2022 never gave Armani Watts more than 100 in a single year on defense. I never understood that,” Matt Connor of Arrowhead Addict wrote.
“Armani Watts is likely the George Odum special teams replacement. Nearly 1,000 special teams snap in four career seasons, only one start on defense,” Zach Hicks of Fan Nation Indy coverage wrote.
“Armani Watts …. Underrated signing younger and more cap friendly. I love it welcome to Indy bro @ArmaniWatts23,” another user wrote.