Safeties have had a hard time cashing out in free agency this spring, and Tyrann Mathieu explained why on Tuesday.
Responding to a tweet that theorized his one-year, $7 million deal with the Houston Texans drove the safety market down, Mathieu noted teams are no longer willing to shell out big bucks for players at his position:
Tyrann Mathieu @Mathieu_Era
No not at all. Teams think they can replace safeties because of the "systems" they run. Teams want pass rushers and Top Flight corners. The Safety position is becoming a devalued position. So safeties have to literally play lights out , to even be valued. https://t.co/Si4uiLwLPj
To Mathieu's point, safeties' deals have been rather modest through the first week of free agency.
According to Spotrac, Mathieu's $6.5 million guaranteed ranks tops among all free-agent safeties. Kurt Coleman, who inked a three-year, $18 million deal with the New Orleans Saints, is the only other safety who has been able to secure more than $5 million guaranteed.
On the whole, league-wide data indicates the average safety earns $2.1 million per year, while defensive ends and cornerbacks make $2.8 and $2.2 million, respectively, on an annual basis.