Tyrann Mathieu is a three-time All-Pro, but some interested suitors might have reservations about the veteran safety, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Fowler reported on SportsCenter that "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."
Per Fowler, the 29-year-old may not rush into a decision and "probably wants to go to a contender." The Pittsburgh Steelers have considered a pursuit but only have $13.5 million in salary-cap space.
Mathieu made his third Pro Bowl in 2021, finishing with 76 tackles, three interceptions and six pass deflections. However, his departure from the Kansas City Chiefs was a sign of how the perception of his value could be trending downward.
ESPN's Adam Teicher wrote how "the Chiefs throw their significant free-agent money at younger players theoretically on the rise and not older players who have already been at the top."
Over the past five seasons, Mathieu has missed just two games, so injuries haven't been a big concern of late.
However, the torn ACL he suffered and shoulder trouble he experienced with the Arizona Cardinals might be part of the calculus when teams attempt to determine a dollar figure for his next contract. That's in addition to the 129 games he has played since entering the NFL in 2013.
Given his age, this could be Mathieu's last chance to sign a big multiyear deal. If that's the case, then it could be holding up his next move.
How Mathieu will perform in 2022 isn't much of a question based on how well he played with the Chiefs. But that becomes less of a sure thing once he gets on the wrong side of 30.