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NFL teams reportedly have key ‘concern’ about Tyrann Mathieu in free agency

Matt Johnson

Tyrann Mathieu went into NFL free agency expecting to find a strong market for his leadership and talent. As the 2022 NFL Draft approaches and teams begin sorting out their rosters, the former All-Pro safety remains a free agent.

The 29-year-old’s resume qualifies him as one of the top NFL free agents available in April. He earned three first-team All-Pro selections, including for his play in the 2020 season. Mathieu is also a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade team and has earned a Pro Bowl spot in each of the last three seasons.

  • Tyrann Mathieu stats (2021): 60 solo tackles, three interceptions, three fumbles recovered, 91.4 QB rating allowed, eight missed tackles

Yet the Kansas City Chiefs, in dire need of defensive talent, let him walk in free agency and replaced him with Justin Reid. While he is generating interest on the open market, including from the Pittsburgh Steelers, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler shared on SportsCenter why teams are wary of signing Mathieu.

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“The concern from some teams I talk to is that maybe Mathieu has lost a step because he’s played nine years, a lot of mileage.”

ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler on worries teams have with Tyrann Mathieu (H/T Bleacher Report)

It’s a reasonable concern for NFL evaluators to have with Mathieu. The Chiefs saw his play dip in 2021 and replaced him with a younger player. Mathieu turns 30 before June and for a player with a history of injuries, it can lead to a dip in athleticism.

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Related: Nine teams interested in Tyrann Mathieu

Clearly, teams are still interested in Mathieu. While he might lose some of the explosiveness and speed teams want from a safety, his instincts are outstanding. He is also a leader on the field and his football IQ helped a lot of his teammates over the years in Kansas City.

Ultimately, it’s only a matter of time until Mathieu finds the right spot for him. Once the 2022 season rolls on, he’ll make a positive impact on his club and will become a favorite of the fan base.