It looks like a contract will be agreed upon, and it is quite the deal. The Chiefs are signing Mathieu for three years and $42MM, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The average annual value would match that of Landon Collins‘ Redskins pact. The 26-year-old Mathieu profiled as the Chiefs’ top offseason target, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link), and the contract certainly reflects that.
The Texans have been discussing a contract with Mathieu for a while, but the sides have not come to terms. This is considerably north of the proposal the Texans reportedly made, with Houston’s offer being for $9.5MM per year.
This is interesting, given the Texans’ favorable amount of cap space when compared to the Chiefs’. But Kansas City has needs across its defense and will be allocating a considerable amount of money to a position that recently saw its value stagnate.
The Chiefs still have Eric Berry‘s $13MM-AAV contract on their books but have an opening opposite the All-Pro. Berry, 30, is not a reasonable cut candidate this year. It would cost the Chiefs more than $14MM in dead money to jettison the three-time All-Pro. But Kansas City is now heavily invested at a position that has seen its value reignite in a matter of hours.
With the Legion of Boom having disbanded, no team comes close to matching what Kansas City will have allotted to its safety position. But the Chiefs had considerable issues in pass coverage last season, including at pivotal points during their AFC championship game loss, and Mathieu helped rebuild his stock in 2018. The Chiefs were connected to Collins and the still-unattached Earl Thomas early last season but opted to stand pat. While they were agonizingly close to a Super Bowl without making a move, the team is addressing a need area now.
Coming off some disappointing seasons in Arizona, following the Cardinals signing Mathieu to a then-record safety deal (five years, $62.5MM), Mathieu made the most of his one-year Texans pact. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 21 safety last season.
It appears Houston will need to look for another safety. While the market still has some key players, two of the top targets are no longer available.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.