Thursday, August 11, 2022

Tyrann Mathieu free agency: Chiefs GM Brett Veach leaves open possibility of All-Pro safety returning to team

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USATSI

Tyrann Mathieu is taking his time through the free agency process, enough time for the Kansas City Chiefs to potentially entertain a reunion with the three-time All-Pro safety. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach won’t rule out a Mathieu return to the team if things work out.

“I think anything’s on the table,” Veach said last week regarding Mathieu. “And I think that goes for how we operate at all levels. He’s a player that we know and love and if there’s a situation that makes sense for him — it’s all about him now — certainly we wouldn’t close the door on that because of the way we feel about him.”

The Chiefs seemingly moved on from Mathieu once they signed Justin Reid to a three-year, $31.5 million deal early in free agency. The 25-year-old Reid is a younger option than Mathieu, but it’s difficult for Kansas City to replace Mathieu’s leadership and production. Kansas City still has Juan Thornhill and Deon Bush in the fold at the other safety position, but it’s hard to ignore what Mathieu brings to their secondary if he were to return.

Mathieu’s 26 interceptions are tied for the most in the NFL amongst safeties since entering the league in 2013, and his three first-team All-Pro selections match Patrick PetersonJalen Ramsey, and Richard Sherman for the most amongst active defensive backs. Mathieu has 26 interceptions, four forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 10 sacks, and 610 tackles in his career. Mathieu and Harrison Smith are the only players in the league to have 25 interceptions and 10 sacks over the last 10 seasons (Mathieu began his career in 2013). 

Mathieu being patient with his free agency isn’t a surprise to the Chiefs, especially with teams vying for his services over the last few weeks. While it’s hard to envision Mathieu back with the Chiefs at this stage of the game, the Chiefs will certainly keep their eyes open in case Mathieu wants to return. 

“He’s a guy that knows what he wants and he’s going to be selective,” Veach said. “I’m sure he has some choices out there. He’s an accomplished player and he’s done a lot of things in this league. So, I don’t think he’s in a rush to make a decision, I think he has choices.

“I’m not surprised just because when you’ve done the things he’s done — you’ve won Super Bowls and made Pro Bowls — I don’t think there’s a need to rush. Take all the information in, spend time with your family and let the decision come to you as opposed to forcing the decision.”

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