NFL Free Agency Grades: Tyrann Mathieu an Ideal for Steve Spagnuolo

Tyrann Mathieu joins new DC Steve Spagnuolo and Eric Berry to form a safety tandem that could rival the Legion of Boom Seahawks.
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Conor Orr is writing up grades for every major NFL free agency signing here. Below is his grade for new Jaguars QB Nick Foles.


From: Houston Texans

To: Kansas City Chiefs

Contract: Three years, $42 million

Breakdown: The safety market has gone the way of Lazarus. After bottoming out in 2018, we’ve seen two players both reset the market in a matter of hours to open the legal tampering period in 2019.

While Landon Collins got the years (6) from Washington, Mathieu’s three-year, $42 million deal in Kansas City puts him back into free agency before his 30th — theoretically the goal of anyone who signs one of these things believing they’ll be there for the duration of the contract. It also gives the Chiefs a quick evaluation period on a good player, plus an instant injection of energy and improvisation in the secondary.

Despite pawing at the safety market at the trade deadline last year, the Chiefs may end up in a better place with Mathieu, who will turn 27 just before training camp. He’s an ideal fit for new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who likes players that can react quickly after the snap and won’t need to be constrained by as many strict coverage rules. This should stomp out many of the matchup problems the Chiefs should face within the division and give them an extra hand against Oakland’s newly revamped passing game.

Grade: B