Tyrann Mathieu remains on the NFL free-agent market, hitting said market as one of the best defensive backs available. While he’s getting up there in age, plenty of teams will want the Honey Badger on their defense in 2022.
A three-time to Bowl selection and member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, Mathieu was the heart of the Kansas City Chiefs defense. When the versatile safety couldn’t take the field, fans witnessed one of the worst overall defenses in the league. However, he made a significant impact when healthy.
Turning 30 on May 13, the 5-foot-9 safety isn’t quite as good as he used to be. Even a slight decline won’t stop teams from opening up the checkbook to add a Swiss Army knife to their defense who can also be a team leader.
Here are the best free-agent destinations for Tyrann Mathieu.
The Baltimore Ravens are desperate for a reliable safety. We also know this is a scheme that likes moving players around the field, putting them in different spots to trick the offense. According to Pro Football Focus, Mathieu played 49 snaps on the edge, 438 in the box, 206 as a slot corner and 280 at free safety this past season.
- Tyrann Mathieu stats (2021): 60 solo tackles, 6 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries, 88.1 passer rating allowed
It’s precisely the kind of utility weapon defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald likely wants. He can trust Mathieu in coverage, use him as a blitzer and just keep an opposing quarterback looking to see where the savvy defender is lined up.
Mathieu would also likely enjoy playing in the Ravens’ secondary, joining a talented group of players who he knows will line up in the right spots and handle their responsibilities.
Las Vegas Raiders land Tyrann Mathieu
Vegas has been extremely active all offseason, adding superstars such as Davante Adams and Chandler Jones to the mix. The Raiders have also improved in the secondary by adding cornerbacks Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett.
The one lingering issue under new general manager Dave Ziegler is safety. Strong safety Johnathan Abram has not played up to his billing as a first-round pick. Teaming youngster Trevon Moehrig up with Mathieu would absolutely be a win for the Raiders. We’d also be ignorant to ignore the fact that Honey Badger might want to stick it to his former Chiefs team.
Related: 2022 NFL Draft rumors
Pittsburgh Steelers bring in Tyrann Mathieu
This is something that’s been bandied about a whole lot recently. Flush with $15 million in cap room, Pittsburgh can easily afford to bring Honey Badger into the mix. The idea would be to team him up with fellow stud safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to form one of the best tandems in the NFL.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has been unusually active in free agency as he prepares to step down from that role following the 2022 NFL Draft. That has included bringing in linebacker Myles Jack. Mathieu would simply be the latest example.
Dallas Cowboys go all in with Honey Badger
It’s not a secret that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is interested in signing Tyrann Mathieu. He’s been searching for that elite-level safety for eons now.
Dallas also has the cap room to add someone of his ilk given the team traded high-priced wide receiver Amari Cooper. Imagine the Boys teaming Mathieu up with stud cornerback Trevon Diggs. We’re talking two of the best ball hawks in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers sign Tyrann Mathieu
The 49ers had interest in Mathieu before he signed with the Houston Texans back in 2018. Their previous regime was also intrigued by him heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
As for an on-field fit, current starting strong safety Jaquiski Tartt remains a free agent. Largely idle in free agency, San Francisco’s big-ticket signing came in the form of former Chiefs star cornerback Charvarius Ward. Why not see if Ward can recruit his former teammate to Northern California? The only issue here is San Francisco’s cap situation with Jimmy Garoppolo still on the books.