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Tyrann Mathieu on Saints Visit: ‘I Don’t Think They Really Need Me’

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Tyrann Mathieu

Free agent safety and Pittsburgh Steelers target Tyrann Mathieu had his visit the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday, and while they are his hometown team, the sweepstakes for his services appears to still be wide open.

Mathieu is intrigued by the idea of returning to New Orleans, but acknowledged that the Saints may not need or have a role for him considering their logjam at safety.

“Those guys have done a great thing,” Mathieu told The Advocate. “The last couple years, they’ve been like top-five in defense. I don’t think they really need me, but it would be good to go back home and help them win.”

New Orleans did lose Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins this offseason, but signed Marcus Maye and Daniel Sorensen. With the versatile Chauncey Gardner-Johnson already on the roster, it is difficult to determine where exactly Mathieu would slot in given the investments they have already made at safety.

The Saints may not need Mathieu, but that does not mean he still would not relish the opportunity to play for the city he calls home.

“First and foremost, it’s a great opportunity with Dennis Allen stepping into the lead position,” Mathieu said. “He’s a great defensive mind. I have a lot of respect for Mrs. Benson and the kind of things she does throughout the community. It’s a team I grew up watching. Any time I get to play in front of family and friends, it obviously gives me more energy. It would be a great opportunity if that was to come.”

Ultimately, the Honey Badger is taking his time and weighing all options this free agency cycle, as he is searching for security for his family and the best opportunity to win another Super Bowl.

“This is my third time in free agency, unfortunately,” he added. “This time around, it’s not about being the highest-paid safety. It’s not about breaking news or anything like that. I want my family to be comfortable. I think I’ve worked hard enough and long enough in this league to be able to have that. I want to play for a team that has a chance to win a championship, but outside of that, I want my kids and my family to be happy and be safe.”

A team that does have a need at safety is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are still looking for a partner alongside Minkah Fitzpatrick. Mathieu revealed last week that Mike Tomlin had reached out.

“I’m trying to enjoy the process,” Mathieu said. “It’s still cool talking to all coaches, the different coaches, because some of these guys, I’m fans of. Mike Tomlin calling your phone like, ‘Hey, yo, it’s Mike T.’ Just being able to talk with these guys, it’s a blessing.”

Given Mathieu’s free agency approach and comments on New Orleans, it would appear the Steelers are still in the running with regards to acquiring his services.

A three-time All-Pro, Mathieu spent the last three season as the Kansas City Chiefs’ primary defensive playmaker. He had 17 takeaways individually in the last three years combined.

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