What this means is that the Chiefs have a little over a week to re-sign Mathieu, or he will test the open market.
Mathieu, 29, is beloved by Coach Andy Reid and a leader on the Chiefs defense, but it appears that he could be on his way to a nasty breakup with the team.
How do we know this?
We see and hear it from Mathieu’s recent social media post.
What Mathieu Tweeted
On Saturday afternoon, Mathieu posted:
“Replacing me is easy. Getting them to do the same thing I did is damn near impossible.”
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) March 5, 2022
There is no need for too much interpretation.
Mathieu’s words tell us that negotiations are not going well.
Coach Reid Loves Him
Of course, this is happening during the 2022 NFL Combine.
It was inevitable that Coach Reid had to answer a question about Mathieu’s contract situation.
Reid loves Mathieu, but this situation is out of his hands.
This further reinforces that the NFL is a business, and this is between the Chiefs’ front office and Mathieu and his agents.
Yesterday at the NFL Combine I asked Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid:
"Have you talked to @Mathieu_Era and is his contract still up in the air?"
Check out his response below… pic.twitter.com/uD5C2ZDWsY
— Steve Walls (@SteveWallsKC) March 3, 2022
He Is Difficult To Replace
Many disagree with Mathieu’s opinion that he is easy to replace.
If he leaves the Chiefs, there is a huge hole in leadership and productivity that has to be made up elsewhere.
As I’ve said, if the Chiefs decide to spend their 💰 elsewhere and move on from Tyrann Mathieu, I understand it. But losing him is as massive of a hole to fill as Brett Veach has ever had to as Chiefs GM.
It’s gonna require a number of big splashes to justify the decision. pic.twitter.com/a3WHGjIx8j
— 🎙 (@LanceTHESPOKEN) March 6, 2022
Be realistic y’all! Brett Veach may be “strictly Business” but he knows it’s going to be very difficult to find a leader of @Mathieu_Era caliber. He’s one of the most disciplined players in the league. An extension would only help the team in every way. #PayTyrannMathieu pic.twitter.com/x4sBPm949B
— Phillip V. McGruder (@McGruderPmac) March 6, 2022
Mathieu is versatile and effective against both the run and the pass.
He is also adept at blitzing.
In 16 games in 2021, he had 60 solo tackles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 2 quarterback hits.
Since joining the Chiefs in 2019, he is a three-time Pro Bowler and a first-team AP All-Pro selection in 2019 and 2020.
Value Of Contract Extension
Spotrac estimates that Mathieu’s contract extension would be a three-year deal for $44.6 million.
His previous three-year deal was valued at $42 million.
However, Harrison Smith recently inked a deal with the Vikings for a longer-term and higher annual salary.
Smith’s deal was a four-year deal valued at $64 million which Mathieu is aware of.
The Vikings gave a 32-year old Harrison Smith a 4-year contract extension averaging $16M per year last August. Tyrann Mathieu is probably going to want more than Smith. https://t.co/whSaNEhR5j
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) March 2, 2022
I'm sure Tyrann Mathieu took note of the Vikings making a 32-year-old Harrison Smith the NFL's 2nd highest paid safety although the $16M average per year is inflated by $18.1M in the final year. https://t.co/Sv0ausYNdc
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) March 7, 2022
If Mathieu and the Chiefs cannot reach a deal, there are expected to be plenty of interested teams.
The Jets and 49ers are mentioned as possibilities.
Matthieu previously said he hoped to remain a Chief.
“I love this team, I love this locker room. It’s a lot of coaches that I have great relationships with, so I’m hoping, yeah.”
The Chiefs have until March 16 to get this deal done.
Kansas City Chiefs are franchise tagging OT Orlando Brown, per league sources. Brown becomes the first free-agent-to-be this off-season known to be getting the franchise tag.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2022
They have elected to use the franchise tag on Orlando Brown so that option is now officially off the table for Mathieu.
We will have to wait and see what happens.