With NFL Free Agency just around the corner, some of the biggest names in football could find themselves suiting up for different squads in 2022. Among the players set to hit the open market this offseason is Kansas City Chiefs star safety Tyrann Mathieu, who will be one of the top safeties in the free-agent class.
Many teams will be interested in adding a high-quality player such as Mathieu to the secondary, but he likely won’t come cheap. ProFootballFocus projects the 29-year-old will be handed a contract in the range of three years, $45 million, with as much as $30 million in guarantees. A deal like that could price out a handful of teams in the league, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of suitors for the three-time First-Team All-Pro.
With that in mind, here are the three best landing spots for Tyrann Mathieu in 2022 NFL free agency.
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Tyrann Mathieu Free Agency Landing Spots
The Ravens’ secondary was one of the worst units in the NFL last season. Baltimore ranked dead last in football in opponents passing yards per game, allowing an average of 278.9 air yards per game. Safety was a particularly concerning area for the Ravens, as DeShon Elliott missed a significant amount of time, and his replacement Brandon Stephens failed to record a single interception. Additionally, veteran safety Anthony LeVine is set for retirement, further accentuating the need at the position.
Mathieu could step in and provide some much-needed stability and star power to the Ravens’ secondary. The team would have to re-work some contracts or move on from some players in free agency in order to open up the funds for a Mathieu signing, but it would be well worth the investment in order to buff up their feeble secondary. If the Ravens want to compete in 2022, adding a star-caliber player such as Mathieu to the defense would be a great first step.
The Colts are projected to have a ton of cap space to work with this offseason and could open up even more if they decide to part ways with Carson Wentz. While Indy’s defense was solid last year, the late-season collapse is something the franchise is desperate to put in the past, and adding a star defensive player like Mathieu in free agency would be a great step in ensuring the Colts finish out the year strong in 2022.
Mathieu has 13 interceptions over the past three seasons and has 27 pass breakups in that span. Adding a playmaker like the Honey Badger to the mix could help bring the Colts’ defense into the upper-echelon of the NFL, while also making things significantly easier on the offense, and whoever is under center in 2022. The Colts ranked second in football in takeaways last season, but they were among the bottom of the league during their late-season meltdown. Having Mathieu in the secondary could ensure a consistent level of production across the 17-game season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
A return to KC just makes sense for Mathieu. He’s dominated in his three seasons with the team and has had the opportunity to play in two Super Bowls during his tenure with the team. The Chiefs cleared up over $8 million in cap space following the release of Anthony Hitchens, money which could end up going towards a new contract for Mathieu. Kansas City failing to retain Mathieu this offseason could prove disastrous, as their defense, even with him in the mix, struggled against the pass.
If Mathieu is allowed to walk in free agency, the Chiefs would have a massive hole in their secondary. Daniel Sorenson is set for free agency, and the team seems unlikely to bring him back given his struggles in 2021. Rather than pursue an alternative option such as Marcus Williams or Marcus Maye to fill the void, the Chiefs should pull out all the stops in their efforts to bring Mathieu back to Kansas City.