CBS Sports has listed Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu as the NFL’s best.
When the Kansas City Chiefs first signed defensive back Tyrann Mathieu as a free agent just over one year ago, the excitement around the acquisition was palpable due to what fans and NFL analysts knew the Honey Badger would bring to the team. One Super Bowl championship later, as excited as Chiefs Kingdom was, no one had any idea he would be this good.
It’s hard to quantify just how much Mathieu has added to the Chiefs in only one season. Given how much he’s loved by fans, it would be easy to assume Mathieu had been in place for multiple years in the team’s secondary. Somehow in just over one calendar year with the team, he’s become a versatile chess piece on the field, a team-first vocal leader in the locker room, and a civic hero off the field. In each facet, he’s a fan favorite.
For general manager Brett Veach, the credibility earned from such a signing is great. The Chiefs not only rebuilt their defense front to back in a single offseason but they brought in all new coaches to lead those new players as well. From week to week, the results were slowly but surely getting better and by midseason, a game in which the Chiefs absolutely whipped the Denver Broncos, the transition was nearly complete and Mathieu was a major part of it.
Over at CBS Sports, the efforts of Mathieu this season gave him top billing on their rankings of the NFL’s 10 best safeties. Given that Mathieu was a first-team All-Pro as well as a Super Bowl winner, the Chiefs safety earned the highest marks of anyone, placing him just above Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings at No. 3 and Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 2.
Patrik Walker writes, “For whether you need a free safety, strong safety or nickel corner — this former Tiger is … well … great.” Besides the lame cereal joke, it’s nice to see those outside of Kansas City being as enamored as Chiefs Kingdom with the job that Mathieu has done. The good news is that Mathieu is signed for another two years in K.C..