Tyrann Mathieu Rumors: Safety Visiting Saints; Free-Agent Contract Isn't Imminent

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2022

Kansas City Chiefs free safety Tyrann Mathieu during the first half of the NFL AFC Championship football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022 in Kansas City, Mo.. (AP Photos/Reed Hoffmann)
AP Photos/Reed Hoffmann

Free-agent safety Tyrann Mathieu is reportedly set to visit with the New Orleans Saints.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it will mark Mathieu's first in-person visit this offseason, although signing with New Orleans is not imminent.

Mathieu, who is a New Orleans native and an LSU alumnus, is considered one of the best remaining free agents thanks to a resume that includes three Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pro selections and one Super Bowl win.

For much of his nine-year NFL career, which includes stints with the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs, Mathieu has been considered one of the elite safeties in the league.

He made the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-Decade Team for the 2010s despite not entering the league until 2013.

Mathieu's greatest success came during a three-year run in Kansas City from 2019 to 2021, which saw him win a Super Bowl and earn two Pro Bowl and two first-team All-Pro selections.

In 2020, Mathieu reeled in a career-high six interceptions. He followed that up last season with three picks. He also registered 76 tackles, which was one of the highest totals of his career.

Overall, Mathieu has appeared in 129 career regular-season games, recording 610 tackles, 26 interceptions, 76 passes defended and 10 sacks.

If Mathieu and the Saints reach an agreement, he would give New Orleans a much-needed veteran presence at safety in the wake of Malcolm Jenkins' retirement.

The Saints lost safety Marcus Williams to the Baltimore Ravens in free agency as well. New Orleans has been hard at work rebuilding its safety group, adding Marcus Maye and Justin Evans to a corps that also includes the returning Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and P.J. Williams.

While the Saints have solid depth at safety, Mathieu could still be a good fit, especially since he is a versatile player capable of moving all around the field and playing some cornerback in the slot or even outside.

Given that Williams and Gardner-Johnson are similar in that regard, bringing in another chess piece like Mathieu would give head coach Dennis Allen no shortage of options in terms of throwing different looks at opposing offenses.