Tyrann Mathieu, Saints Reportedly Agree to 3-Year, $33M Contract in NFL Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 2, 2022

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 24:  Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the field during a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Titans defeated the Chiefs 27-3.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tyrann Mathieu has agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal with the New Orleans Saints, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Schefter noted the deal, which still needs to be finalized, will include $18 million fully guaranteed.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network previously reported a deal was expected to be finalized "in the coming days."

The veteran safety fills a significant need for New Orleans, which failed to address the position in the 2022 NFL draft.

The 29-year-old lived up to his last three-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, earning first-team All-Pro honors in both 2019 and 2020. He was selected to his third career Pro Bowl in 2021 after totaling 76 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and one sack.

Kansas City signed the safety to help fix a defense that finished 24th in the NFL in points allowed in 2018. The unit turned things around with Mathieu anchoring the secondary, ranking in the top 10 in points allowed the past three years. The Chiefs also reached the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons, winning one title.

Mathieu set a career-high with six interceptions in 2020, returning one for a touchdown while adding 62 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Despite the success on the field, the two sides were unable to work out an extension.

General manager Brett Veach described the salary-cap situation last August as "super tricky," per Adam Teicher of ESPN. 

It became clear heading into free agency that Mathieu would not return, especially with his message on Twitter:

Tyrann Mathieu @Mathieu_Era

<a href="https://t.co/acIULNIetG">pic.twitter.com/acIULNIetG</a>

Kansas City added Justin Reid in free agency while Mathieu will get his own fresh start with a new team.

The veteran should make an immediate impact on the Saints' defense as a playmaker who can cover plenty of ground and force turnovers. Even with Marcus Williams leaving in free agency, the league's No. 4 scoring defense shouldn't lose a step.

"The last couple years, they've been like top-five in defense," Mathieu previously said of the Saints. "I don't think they really need me, but it would be good to go back home and help them win."

The move represents a homecoming for Mathieu, who grew up in New Orleans and played college football at LSU. 

It seemingly creates a perfect fit heading into 2022.