Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu has officially been a free agent since March 16 but still hasn’t signed with another team. However, one insider may have some clues as to why.
Speaking on SportsCenter on Sunday, April 3, NFL insider Jeremy Fowler detailed what he’s been hearing about Mathieu.
“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.
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Mathieu will enter the 2022 season at 30 years of age, and entering his 10th season in the league, 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.
On March 31, NFL insider Jordan Schulz detailed which teams have expressed interest in Mathieu.
“Numerous teams would love to sign Tyrann Mathieu, though execs I’ve spoken w/this week don’t feel he’s in a rush. The 4x All-Pro is a GREAT player w/interest from #Cowboys, #Colts, #Saints, #Broncos, #Eagles, #Ravens, #Steelers + #Cowboys (will Jerry Jones spend?) – among others,” Schultz wrote in a Tweet.
“Have also been told the #Raiders and #Dolphins have interest in Honey Badger, but again — I could potentially see this taking time as well,” Schultz continued in a separate Tweet.
Mathieu Breaks Silence on Still Being a Free Agent
Mathieu, who spent the last three seasons in Kansas City, recently spent time at his alma mater, LSU, to be around the school and team for some time. While in his home state of Louisiana, Mathieu spoke about his time with the Chiefs.
“It was amazing. I really thought it was what I needed at the moment too,” Mathieu said of his time in Kansas City on the Jordy Culotta Show on March 28. “And for me, it was the next challenge too.
“When I went to KC — before I went there — they were horrendous on defense. Like dead last. So for me to be able to take on that challenge, and understanding to that I’m gonna be the little brother on the team, even though I’m gonna have to do the most work trying to get this defense turned around. But those fans are so into it. It’s for real with them. And I respect that.”
Mathieu also addressed being a free agent, and how he’s been handling not knowing where he will play next.
“I’m really just taking it easy. Kind of enjoying the time with family,” he said. “Just being able to have this time with family, it’s cool, but I just try to enjoy the process, it’s still cool talking to all the coaches — the different coaches — because some of these coaches are fans.”
Mathieu went on to say he’s received phone calls from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who wasn’t necessarily trying to recruit him, but just wanted to chat with Mathieu. The veteran safety then detailed what he’s looking for in the next team he signs with.
“From a leadership perspective, obviously you want to be part of a good group of guys. You want to be able to work well with these guys … Then you want to win, man. It’s all about being able to compete.”
Mathieu also said competitive teams in the NFL start with a good quarterback.
Steelers, Dolphins Out of Mathieu Sweepstakes
The annual NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Florida isn’t just an opportunity for NFL brass to meet and discuss important topics regarding the league. It’s also an opportunity for anyone else associated with the league to gain clarity on a bevy of topics, including free agency.
Two of the teams that were rumored to have interest in Mathieu, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins, shut down the idea of either of them signing the soon-to-be 30-year-old safety.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said at the 2022 owners meetings that the priority of the team is to add young, veteran players.
“Our preference is always to add players coming off of their first contract or as close to their first contract as they can be,” Colbert said, via Noah Strackbein of All Steelers.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier was a bit more straightforward with his answer.
“We’re not pursuing Tyrann,” Grier said at the owners meetings, via Alain Poupart of All Dolphins. “Good player. I think he’ll be a good addition for any team in the league, but no, we’re not pursuing him.”