When the Kansas City Chiefs signed Justin Reid, it felt like Tyrann Mathieu’s time with the franchise was up.
Then, after the Tyreek Hill trade and an interesting comment from Brett Veach, it appeared there might be a glimmer of hope once again. Mathieu also made it clear that he wanted to re-sign — before the Reid deal that is.
That was prior to the NFL draft, and the second-round selection of Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook. Today on May 2, Mathieu has finally chosen a new destination.
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Saints Made ‘Aggressive Push’ for Mathieu
On May 1, NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted that the New Orleans Saints would be making a strong effort to sign the Honey Badger.
He stated: “After failing to land a safety during the draft, the Saints now are expected to re-visit their talks with free-agent Pro-Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu and make an aggressive push to try to add him to their roster, per sources. Mathieu was born and raised in New Orleans.”
The veteran playmaker had been taking his time to decide on free agency. The Saints always made sense as a destination, considering it’s his hometown and he has strong ties to his LSU alma matter.
The following morning, NFL insider Ian Rapoport announced that the signing was “expected.”
“The Saints are making a key post-draft addition, as they’re expected to sign All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu,” he informed. “A long-awaited signing that should be finalized in the coming days, the Honey Badger lands in a perfect spot.”
Mathieu’s new deal was confirmed by NFL insider Adam Schefter at 3:02 p.m. CST. The defensive playmaker signed for three years, $33 million, with $18 million guaranteed.
The Chiefs don’t play NOLA next season — unless the two meet in the Super Bowl.
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Chiefs Gain a New ‘Skilled Enforcer’ in Round 2
With Reid and Juan Thornhill on the roster as the projected starters and Deon Bush as a veteran backup, the Chiefs still targeted the safety position early in the draft.
They chose the two-year starter of the Bearcats — who accumulated 124 tackles, six TFLs, one sack, nine passes defended and two interceptions in 21 collegiate games. NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein described Cook as a “skilled enforcer.”
The analyst continued: “[He has] size, toughness and instincts to put his stamp on the game in a variety of ways. Cook plays with the confidence and consistency of a pro safety and loves to run and hit. His blend of football intelligence, athleticism and physicality makes him an ideal fit for matchup-oriented defenses looking for versatile back-end chameleons.”
People thought Reid was a mini-Honey Badger but Cook might share an even more striking resemblance long-term. The flexible new chess piece may not start in year one, but it will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo deploys him.
An NFC area scout told Zierlein that it’s Cook’s mentality that impresses him most: “He has that alpha personality to control his areas of the field.”
The Chiefs lost two superstars in 2022 — Hill and Mathieu — although it’s hard to tell. With talented youngsters entering the facilities in groves, Veach and head coach Andy Reid have been putting on a masterclass of how to rebuild a dynasty overnight.