Tyrann Mathieu Rumors: Saints to 'Make an Aggressive Push to' Sign Star to Contract

Erin WalshMay 1, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 30: Kansas City Chiefs free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) in the second quarter of the AFC Championship game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan 30, 2022 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints failed to select a safety in the 2022 NFL draft, and now it appears they're turning their attention to one of the best available at the position on the free-agent market. 

The Saints are reportedly expected to "make an aggressive push" to sign Tyrann Mathieu, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who noted the three-time Pro Bowler was "born and raised" in New Orleans.

Before we get into specifics on Mathieu, here's a quick look at New Orleans' 2022 draft class:

  • No. 11: Chris Olave, wide receiver
  • No. 19: Trevor Penning, offensive tackle
  • No. 49: Alontae Taylor, cornerback
  • No. 161: D'Marco Jackson, linebacker
  • No. 194: Jordan Jackson, defensive tackle

After losing Marcus Williams to the Baltimore Ravens in free agency, and losing Malcolm Jenkins to retirement, the Saints could use another safety.

The team's current depth chart at the position includes Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Maye, Daniel Sorensen, P.J. Williams, Justin Evans and J.T. Gray. Mathieu would represent an upgrade over all of those players and has the flexibility to play either free safety or strong safety. 

Mathieu spent the last three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, earning two All-Pro and two Pro Bowl selections. During the 2021 season, he recorded three interceptions, six passes defended, one sack, three fumble recoveries and 76 tackles. 

The LSU product initially visited the Saints on April 5 and noted he would love to be given the opportunity to play in New Orleans in front of his family and friends. 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Free-agent safety Tyrann Mathieu spotted here today visiting the New Orleans Saints: <a href="https://t.co/CWlH6FiORt">pic.twitter.com/CWlH6FiORt</a>

"First and foremost, it's a great opportunity with Dennis Allen stepping into that lead position," Mathieu said after the visit, according to Wilson Alexander of The Advocate. "He's a great defensive mind. I have a lot of respect for Mrs. Benson and the kind of things she does through the community. 

"It's a team I grew up watching," he added. "Anytime I get to play in front of family and friends, it obviously gives me more energy. It would be a great opportunity if that was to come."

Mathieu, who noted he has good relationships with Saints defenders Cam Jordan and Marshon Lattimore, also downplayed his chances of signing with the Saints, telling Alexander, "I don't think they really need me, but it would be good to go back home and help them win."

Mathieu also said at the time that he's not looking to be the highest-paid safety in his third free-agency cycle, adding that he wants his family "to be comfortable." That said, heading to New Orleans makes a lot of sense for the Honey Badger.