Tyrann Mathieu is ‘definitely motivated’ by end of Chiefs career

KC Chiefs, Tyrann Mathieu. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
KC Chiefs, Tyrann Mathieu. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu admitted to Jim Rome that he’s “definitely motivated” by the way his stint ended with the Chiefs.

Few could have predicted before the start of the NFL offseason that things would have played out like this between star safety Tyrann Mathieu and the Kansas City Chiefs.

For a full year, Mathieu and the Chiefs were saying all the right things—read: positive things—when asked about their future together. Mathieu stated he wanted to finish his career with the Chiefs, and various members of the organization were clear in their appreciation of Mathieu’s past contributions and remained excited about his future. From head coach Andy Reid to general manager Brett Veach, the Chiefs sounded adamant about bringing him back.

It wasn’t until Veach’s first press conference of the offseason that things seemed to change—with the GM admitting that things might turn out as he wanted, that there were financial hurdles in the way of doing everything a team might desire.

From there, the market opened up and Mathieu was surprisingly left on the sidelines. The Chiefs struck early with a new three-year deal for a younger version of Mathieu (at least they hope) in Justin Reid. As a versatile defensive coming over from the Houston Texans, Reid got big money to become the new anchor in the Chiefs’ secondary.

Beyond that, a few other high-profile safeties found places to land—from Marcus Williams to Marcus Maye—but Mathieu remained unsigned after the initial frenzy in mid-March after the entire month was gone, and even six weeks later when the 2022 NFL Draft came and went without a Mathieu signing. He’d had bites from the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles, but no one had stepped up just yet to secure his services.

In the end, he revisited the Saints and reached agreement on a three-year deal of his own to bring him back home to NoLa, where’s an ideal fit for a strong defense. The homecoming is a great story, but it also comes with a bittersweet feeling, according to Mathieu, of wanting to work things out in Kansas City.

In recent days, Mathieu appeared on The Jim Rome Show to discuss his offseason, his new home, and his transition out of K.C. Rome asked him some pointed questions about feeling frustrated by the way things ended, and Mathieu was honest about his side of the story, saying he’s not bitter but he’s able to find motivation from it going forward.

“I’m definitely motivated by it. This is not the first time this has happened to me, y’know, Jim. I’m getting ready to play for my fourth team, so you know, every step of the way, I’ve run into the hurdle. It’s always helped relight the fire or put that chip back on my shoulder.”

Mathieu was also quick to acknowledge the business side of the league, knowing that such departures and decisions are part of the game. They happen every offseason on every team, and this year it just didn’t work out for him to stay with the Chiefs.

“You would like for everything to be perfect in your life, for everything to go your way, but there’s no real challenge in that. So even though things didn’t end how I wanted in Kansas City, I just look forward to picking up the page in New Orleans and keep writing the story.”

Given his tremendous impact over the last three years and the memories of delivering a Super Bowl to the region, Mathieu will be able to call K.C. his home anytime he wants even if his playing days at Arrowhead are over.

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