Tyrann Mathieu Rumors: Texans Hope to Sign Star to 'Highly Competitive' Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23:  Free safety Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Houston Texans celebrates an interception by inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney #55 (not pictured) against the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Houston Texans are looking to re-sign free-agent safety Tyrann Mathieu this offseason, according to the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson.

Wilson added "nothing imminent or close" is on the horizon for Mathieu and the Texans and that bringing Mathieu back will be difficult given a market that is "highly competitive financially."

Mathieu signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Texans after the Arizona Cardinals released him last March. He appeared in all 16 games for Houston, finishing with 89 combined tackles—tying a career high—three sacks and two interceptions.

Beyond what he delivered on the field, Texans head coach Bill O'Brien also praised Mathieu for his positive impact in the locker room, per USA Today's Mike Jones: "He's got a powerful voice and he's got a great life story that's still continuing. I think there's a lot of respect for him in that locker room—I know there is. I mean, the guy was voted a captain and he hadn't even been here for a full football season. I think that says it all about him. He's just a good guy."

According to Over the Cap, the Texans have a little over $80.9 million in available salary-cap space, third-most in the league. Houston has the money to re-sign Mathieu, but general manager Brian Gaine could have a difficult decision to make if Mathieu's salary demands skyrocket beyond what he earned in 2018.

In that sense, Mathieu's productive season was a double-edged sword. While he proved himself a vital member of the Texans secondary, he also will have impressed potential suitors.

Three-time All-Pro Earl Thomas and three-time Pro Bowler Landon Collins are free agents as well, and they'll be competing with Mathieu for lucrative long-term deals. Mathieu shouldn't have to settle for a discount, though, because the teams that strike out on Thomas and Collins will almost certainly pay top dollar to land the Honey Badger.