Tyrann Mathieu has been in the NFL for eight seasons, and he has been on three teams. At one point, he went three consecutive seasons playing for a different team each year. If he has his way, he’ll never play for another team besides the Chiefs for the rest of his career.
“Just being here the last couple years, I can’t see me wearing any other uniform,” Mathieu said in a press conference this week. “I think the fans here are amazing. My teammates are amazing. I spoke about the relationship that I have with my coaches. And some of these things you can’t buy other places. And I’m a guy that’s had to start over quite often, so I would like to stay here for sure.”
Mathieu began his career in Arizona, where the Cardinals made him the No. 69 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with the Cards and developed into one of the league’s most versatile defensive playmakers.
He signed a five-year, $62 million extension with Arizona in 2016, but the team elected to cut him just two years later when he refused to take a pay cut. That led to him signing a one-year deal with the Houston Texans, and his strong play on that year’s AFC South champions earned him a three-year, $42 million deal with the Chiefs.
Mathieu is headed into the final season of that deal now, and he counts against Kansas City’s books for around $19.7 million this coming season. Given how high a level he’s playing at, one would think the two sides could come to an agreement on either an extension or a new contract at some point prior to 2022 free agency, but stranger things have certainly happened. The upcoming season will be Mathieu’s age-29 campaign, so he should have at least a few more years left in the tank.