9:06 AM: New Orleans has, for a while now, been seen as the favorite to land safety Tyrann Mathieu. It appears they have indeed added the veteran, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (on Twitter) that the Saints are “expected to sign” him in the coming days.
3:40 PM: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the deal is indeed in place, and will be officially signed shortly (Twitter link). Mathieu will earn $33MM over three years, with $18MM fully guaranteed.
It was reported yesterday that the Saints would make an “aggressive push” for the soon-to-be 30-year-old. The deal would represent a homecoming for the New Orleans native who played at LSU in college. It would also mark his fourth career NFL team, after he had a one-year stint in Houston between stays in Arizona and Kansas City.
It was with the Chiefs that Mathieu had the bulk of his individual and collective success. He added two more Pro Bowls and All-Pro nods to his resume, and won his lone Super Bowl during his three seasons there. A starter and valued team leader throughout that time, he totalled 13 interceptions in Kansas City, showcasing his positional versatility along the way.
The Chiefs moved on in free agency, however, signing Justin Reid to take over Mathieu’s starting role. That led to speculation the Saints – who lost Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins this offseason – could be interested in the All-Decade member. The team has already signed Marcus Maye and ex-Chief Daniel Sorensen, but they avoided drafting a safety this weekend. Meanwhile, teams like the Rams and Steelers showed interest, and the Eagles hosted him on a free agent visit as well.
Assuming the deal isn’t officially signed until after 3 PM central time, the Chiefs won’t be in line for a 2023 compensatory pick. The Saints, meanwhile, will add a hometown player as a key part of their rebuilt safety room.