The rumor began back on February 1 when Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu had an interesting Twitter interaction with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen.
The two LSU alums were quite chummy on the social media app, although no words were spoken at first. One day later, Queen continued in his recruitment, responding “would like this [fire emoji]” to a fan who suggested the Honey Badger joining the Baltimore defense.
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Bandwagon Grows by the Day
Mathieu could still re-sign in Kansas City but as the days go by, more analysts seem to jump on the Ravens’ bandwagon.
One recent bigger name in the industry was Pro Football Focus. In an update from PFF writer Arjun Menon, the Chiefs safety was predicted to ink a three-year, $48.75 million deal with the Ravens. He wrote:
All signs have pointed to the Chiefs and Mathieu splitting up, and his playmaking skills would be welcome anywhere. The Ravens’ needs are tough to evaluate because their entire secondary was hurt last year, but they were interested in Mathieu when he was a free agent in 2019, so he could be on their radar again given their current situation at safety.
Additionally, their new defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald had a similar versatile safety at Michigan in Daxton Hill, who lined up all over the place. Hill played box safety, slot corner and some dime backer for MacDonald, which is a role Mathieu can emulate.
Pro Football Network reporter Aaron Wilson also linked Mathieu to the Ravens as a “potential destination,” as well as the Philadelphia Eagles, and our very own Heavy on NFL analyst Ryan Sanudo agreed with both PFF and PFN during a segment of “Heavy Presents: I’m Just Saying With Brian Mazique.”
“I’m going to stay in the same conference and say the Baltimore Ravens. Mathieu loves being on contending teams and of course, money will be a factor here. The Ravens need help desperately and they had a lot of injuries on that side of the ball. I’m looking at a 3-year deal for $45 million for Mathieu this offseason. I think this would be a great fit between player and team,” Sanudo stated.
Keep in mind, Baltimore just announced they were bringing back veteran safety Tony Jefferson, who took the 2020 season off and only played two games for San Francisco in 2021. The eight-year NFL pro may not impact a Mathieu pursuit, but he does add some depth to the position.
Either way, the Honey Badger to the Ravens trend could be nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Let us know if Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta starts winking at Mathieu on Twitter instead of Queen.
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Other Potential Landing Spots From the Rumor Mill
Sticking with the word from our Heavy podcast for a moment, Mazique himself linked the defensive playmaker to a less-talked-about franchise.
“I got a team that I’m going to throw out here,” Mazique began before asking his co-hosts to hear him out. “I’m looking at the Chicago Bears coming hard after Tyrann Mathieu. [He] has spent all this time with the Chiefs and guess who just got hired as the general manager of the Chicago Bears? Ryan Poles… Needless to say, he knows Tyrann Mathieu quite well. The Bears are going to be looking to upgrade at free safety to get somebody that’s more physical, and who more embodies the style of football that the Bears want to play. I don’t think that’s Eddie Jackson anymore. I think that Eddie Jackson has fallen off significantly since he got the big contract.”
The aforementioned Wilson from PFN also included the Bears as a logical landing spot.
This under-the-radar suggestion from Mazique and Wilson does make a lot of sense from a scheme and connection basis as the Poles-Matt Eberflus regime takes shape in Chi-town. The main problem with this thought is contention.
It’s unclear whether Mathieu would automatically sign to the highest bidder or if he’d rather take a pay cut to play for another Super Bowl. If he’s more interested in the latter, one final destination could be Dallas.
I know the Cowboys have some cap issues to figure out but they also have a hole at safety. ESPN writer Bill Barnwell noted that “the Cowboys would love a safety such as Tyrann Mathieu,” but added that “this is probably a position they will address in bulk” rather than star power.