Tyrann Mathieu is heading home. The Pro Bowl safety is expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints in the coming days, according to the NFL Network. Mathieu had a pre-draft visit with the Saints and reports surfaced following the 2022 NFL Draft that the club was going to resume its pursuit of him after they were unable to add at that position over the weekend. Now, that pursuit is going to culminate with the 29-year-old soon inking a deal.
The reason Mathieu may not immediately be signing with the Saints is due to the compensatory pick formula, which is set to expire at 4 p.m. ET on Monday. After that point, unrestricted free agents no longer count against the formula, which creates an even easier path for veterans like Mathieu to find homes across the league.
Once the Saints finalize their deal with Mathieu, he's expected to land a three-year, $33 million deal, per ESPN. Mathieu will receive $18 million fully guaranteed as the deal will make him tied with Quandre Diggs for the ninth-highest paid safety in the game and the 12th-highest in guaranteed money.
New Orleans saw both of its starting safeties depart the organization this offseason with Malcolm Jenkins retiring and Marcus Williams inking a deal with the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. For Mathieu, that hole in the Saints secondary puts him in an ideal situation where he'll be penciled in as a starter alongside fellow safety Marcus Maye, whom the club signed in free agency.
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Mathieu has spent the last three seasons in the NFL as a cornerstone piece to the Kansas City Chiefs defense. Over his tenure, he helped the franchise reach two Super Bowls and hoist one Lombardi Trophy while being one of the most productive playmakers in the league. He was a first-team All-Pro in his first two seasons in K.C. and earned the third Pro Bowl nod of his career in 2021, when he started in all 16 games played in the regular season. Last year, he totaled 76 tackles, six pass breakups, and three interceptions.
This offseason, the Chiefs elected to move on from Mathieu and sign fellow safety Justin Reid to a three-year, $31.5 million contract. That decision left the 10-year veteran "heartbroken" as he admitted to The Kansas City Star that he would have taken a deal similar to Reid's had it ensured that he'd remain with the Chiefs.
Of course, this move to the Saints is also a homecoming for Mathieu. Not only is he a New Orleans native, but he also put himself on the football map during his days playing at LSU. In college, he was a consensus All-American and won SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. So, with this move back home to New Orleans, Mathieu's football career is set to come full circle.