K.C. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has a lot of pressing business in front of him in the next few weeks. Active roster cuts mean that more than three dozen players are going to be shown the door, which means the front office and coaching staff for every NFL franchise is going to be making numerous decisions about the makeup of the preset and future of their respective rosters.
Beyond that, Veach also has a pile of other business to attend to. One of the most pressing matters is the fact that star safety Tyrann Mathieu is in a contract year. Only a few months away from hitting free agency once again, it’s likely that both sides will want to work out a contract extension in short order.
Or at least that’s been the operating assumption.
For months, the Chiefs and Mathieu have been saying the right things yet the meter has not moved at all despite the talks. In fact, when the offseason was at its midpoint, the communication seemed to go south for a hot minute with Mathieu writing and then deleting tweets that showed his frustration with the team’s communication style and/or lack of initiative.
Jamal Adams’ contract extension brings some potential parameters into view for the. Chiefs and Tyrann Mathieu.
Mathieu is often included in a list of the NFL’s best safeties. Well, another one of the very best, Jamal Adams, got paid very handsomely to the tune of a four-year deal worth up to $70 million that includes $38M guaranteed. Just like that, the Seattle Seahawks and Adams provided the sort of terms that could help guide the Chiefs forward on a deal with their own star in the secondary.
Mathieu was recently ranked as the No. 58 player overall in the game and just led the Chiefs with six interceptions last year. Given how his leadership is of paramount importance on the back end of the defense and how his versatility allows Steve Spagnuolo to do much more defensively based on where he can put Mathieu and not worry about the level of playing dropping off.
When Mathieu first arrived in K.C., he signed a three-year deal worth $14 million annually and a total of $42M. With the market now much higher for top-end safeties, Mathieu will likely want something that rivals the more than $16M annual average received by Adams. Then again, he’s also 29-years-old and the Chiefs are paying him or what he will do, not for what he has done.
Mathieu’s next contract might break the bank the way Adams was able to do with the Seahawks, but Adams also has youth on his side. Seattle has plenty of reasons to believe that Adams has plenty of prime for years to come. For the Chiefs, there’s maybe not so much left or at least there’s a risk that, at some point, Mathieu could hit a wall.
So what’s worth it in the end? Will the Chiefs go that high annually for Mathieu? It makes more sense to meet that sort of yearly total on a shorter deal—maybe 2-3 years—than it does to match the overall contract for Adams. Either way, something is coming into view in terms of financial parameters. Will Veach extend the same sort of deal to Mathieu? Something has to happen soon in order to avoid any sort of drama and/or ill will on the part of the parties involved.