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After Further Review: Five takes on Tyrann Mathieu signing with the Saints

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 4:40 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2022 at 6:49 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Local legend returns

The timing just feels right. Tyrann Mathieu as a Saint in 2013 would not have worked. Too many uncertainties back then. Mathieu in the Black and Gold in 2022 feels perfect. We all know Mathieu’s path: St. Aug, LSU, Arizona, Houston, Kansas City, and now New Orleans. With each step along the way, Louisiana always supported him.

There was no other player this offseason I was asked about more. Who Dat Nation wanted him, and LSU fans wanted him in New Orleans also.

Thankfully, the stars finally aligned, and they got their wish. Mathieu is a New Orleans Saint.

Take Two: The Fit

The best part about the Saints adding Mathieu, there’s an immense need for his services. Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins are both gone, and the team did not address safety during the draft. The only true starter at the position was Marcus Maye.

Last season, Mathieu’s snaps at free safety, strong safety, and slot corner were nearly identical. Dennis Allen said after the draft they see Maye as more of a strong safety. Both players have a little more fluidity to their respective games than the previous two starters.

Allen, Ryan Nielsen, and Kris Richard should have no problem finding ways to use that to their advantage. It will be interesting to see how they incorporate those different skillsets week-to-week.

Take Three: Reasonable Contract

Three years, $33 million, with $18 million guaranteed. Those were the reported contract numbers for Mathieu.

All in all, it’s a very reasonable contract for the Saints, who have nearly $20 million in cap space. In terms of average salaries, this makes Mathieu the 11th highest paid safety in the NFL, according to Spotrac. That’s great value for the Saints.

Mathieu gets a three-year deal with decent guaranteed money.

Take Four: Saints defense set

A quick scan at the Saints defensive depth chart shows the team looks pretty sound on that side of the ball at all three levels.

The team has pass rushers, run stuffers, linebackers, cover corners, and now versatile safeties. They could certainly add to their depth in certain spots, but Mathieu’s addition really feels like the last piece to what could be another dominant defense in 2022.

Take Five: Other Observations

- As the Saints have suggested all offseason, a move like this ensures the team has every intention of competing and contending. They have no plans to rebuild.

- The timing of Mathieu’s signing was key. By waiting until Monday at 3 p.m., it doesn’t count toward the compensatory pick formula. Meaning the Saints can still receive one for losing Marcus Williams

- The offseason has been a little different than in year’s past. Usually the Saints fill big needs before the draft in free agency. That didn’t happen this year, but nonetheless they got the big signing that they needed.

- After injury concerns earlier in his career, Mathieu has been incredibly durable. He’s missed just one game in the last five seasons.

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