Tyrann Mathieu didn’t really want to leave the Kansas City Chiefs, but if he was going to, then there was only one place he wanted to go – back home.
And after waiting patiently throughout the free agency process and beyond the 2022 NFL Draft, the former Kansas City Chiefs safety has now got his wish, signing a three-year-deal with the New Orleans Saints.
It was a move that Mathieu claimed that he had been mulling over for a couple of years.
And it was likely the only one he was prepared to accept upon leaving the Chiefs.
“Always Wanted To Be”
“This was the place I’ve always wanted to be,” stated Mathieu after it was announced
that he had just become the latest component of this much-vaunted Dennis Allen Saints defense.
Indeed, the Saints were the only team that Mathieu had a visit with during the free agency period.
“From there, it was just about everything coming together, aligning. But I’ve kind of been manifesting this for a while now. Just to have this opportunity means a lot to me,” Mathieu said.
With Dennis Allen now stepping up to fill the head coach role vacated by Sean Payton last year, Mathieu is keen to make a big impact at the team that were his local team when he was growing up.
Speaking with the Saints podcast, Mathieu explained what is driving himself on to hopefully bigger and better things in the rest of his career.
“As good as a football player as I think I am, maybe I’m not good enough, so that’s what’s kind of keeping motivated,” he said.
And Mathieu had a nice retort when the Podcast host remarked that he would soon be turning 30 years of age.
“You say to like that’s old,” stated Mathieu “I’m just heating up!”
Popular Signing With Saints Fans
The homecoming for the New Orleans native, which is purportedly set to cost the Saints around $33 million ($18m of which is guaranteed), is one that has not just been welcome by the player, but also by the Saints fans.
Sales of Mathieu shirts have already been in increasing demand and now the signing has been confirmed, that trend is only likely to continue.
It is an interesting end to a journey that has run full circle since the former St Augustine High School and LSU Heisman Trophy finalist realised that he had to leave Southern Louisiana if he was to further his career.
After being kicked off the LSU team for multiple failed drugs tests in 2012, and being arrested a short time later, Mathieu realised he needed to move away from the influences in the locality that were impacting his life negatively.
Since 2016, Mathieu has held youth camps in New Orleans and he has also attended several games at LSU.
“New Orleans has always been a great place, this has always been a great community. I think 10, 11 years ago when I was a 20-year-old kid, I think it was just important for me to kind of remove myself from certain things, certain environments, so I could work on myself and get myself to a certain point to where I can come back home and be responsible and be the person I know I can be.”
“I’ve got great people that support me, that I lean on…I’m just grateful to. be here, to have this opportunity,” Mathieu stated.
The move could well be a good one for both Mathieu and the Saints as the player gets to go home after 10-years elsewhere in the NFL, and the Saints pick up one of the best safeties in the NFL to add to their already stellar defense.
FEATURED IMAGE – INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 16: Jared Cook #87 of the Los Angeles Chargers is tackled by Tyrann Mathieu #32 and Juan Thornhill #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs during a 34-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at SoFi Stadium on December 16, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)