One of New Orleans’ native sons is coming home — and one of the NFL’s top defensive units is getting even stronger.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu is reportedly signing with the Saints, per multiple reports.
Details haven’t been disclosed at press time, and the deal isn’t likely to be finalized until after 4 p.m. ET on Monday — when any new unrestricted free-agent signings will not count against the compensatory draft-pick formula.
But Mathieu could earn a deal that eclipses the record set for a safety set by Jamal Adams’ four-year, $72 million contract with the Seahawks in 2021. Mathieu is coming off a three-year, $42 million pact with the Chiefs, and the Saints have the fifth-most effective cap space in the NFL ($18.9M).
His impressive track record — and the fact that he’ll only be 30 at the start of the season — would justify the payday.
- Mathieu won Super Bowl LIV with Kansas City, racking up 18 combined tackles and three pass deflections during the playoff run.
- He’s a three-time Pro Bowler (‘15, ‘20, ‘21) and First Team All-Pro (‘15, ‘19, ‘20).
- Since coming into the league in 2013, Mathieu is tied with Tashaun Gipson and Harrison Smith for the most safety interceptions (26).
The Saints had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season — they ranked third in defensive DVOA — and should be even stronger in that department under their new head coach, former defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.
If the Jameis Winston-led offense can follow suit, the Saints could quickly be contenders once again.