In a since-deleted tweet responding to a question about a potential contract extension for Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, Mathieu tweeted that he’s “probably not” going to get a new deal in Kansas City, noting that he’s been in similar situations before.
The exchange was captured by @RealBirdLawyer on Twitter, pairing a question from @ShowMeFB with Mathieu’s response:
@ShowMeFB: “Are we ever going to get a Tyrann Mathieu extension?”
@Mathieu_Era: “Probably not. Been here before. All good.”
Mathieu’s “been here before” is most likely referring to his last two stops in the NFL, where the Arizona Cardinals eventually waived Mathieu partway through his second deal with the team before the Houston Texans signed him to a one-year deal in Mathieu’s last season before coming to Kansas City. Now, with the Chiefs, Mathieu has one year remaining on his deal before he’ll be set to hit free agency after the 2021 season.
After the NFL Draft, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach was asked about Mathieu’s contract status paired with the fact that the Chiefs didn’t draft a safety in the 2021 draft and if that changes the likelihood that a Mathieu deal would get done sooner rather than later.
“Once we get through this free agency process and the draft, we’ll sit down, and last year we were able to get a lot of our veteran players done during the summer,” Veach began. “Enough can’t be said about Tyrann and how we feel about him and his role both on and off the field here. But look, I had said earlier that once we were able to execute the Orlando Brown trade that it really just opened us up to taking the best player available, and that was kind of the mentality we worked this entire weekend.”
Veach continued to discuss the team’s draft board and drafting strategy and mentioned that the Chiefs are hoping to get a long-term deal done with Brown as well without further discussion of Mathieu’s contract.
What does this mean for Mathieu and the Chiefs?
From here on out, I’m speculating. I don’t know the Chiefs’ plans nor do I know Mathieu’s specific frustrations or beliefs about his contract situation. Just want to make that clear. With that being said:
Mathieu could have been tweeting about his legitimate belief that he won’t be a member of the Chiefs beyond the 2021 season. He also may have been tweeting out of frustration that it’s mid-May and he still doesn’t have an extension he may have expected sooner. It’s hard to say. Personally, I’m surprised that Mathieu’s contract wasn’t a higher priority earlier in the offseason, but the Chiefs can maintain maximum flexibility by not making any moves before they absolutely need to. As Veach said after the draft, they should be able to work on extensions over the summer with their roster more-or-less set in stone for the 2021 season.
Still, Mathieu’s since-deleted tweet is a bit concerning. If the Chiefs had a clearly communicated plan in place to extend Mathieu in the coming weeks or months, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for Mathieu to be frustrated enough with the timeline to tweet about it.
The true status of Mathieu’s possibly pending extension is impossible to know from this vantage point, but Mathieu’s tweet is one of the first pessimistic notes on the negotiations we’ve seen so far. It’s hard to imagine the Chiefs’ defense taking the field without Mathieu anytime soon, but it may be something Chiefs fans have to prepare for sooner than expected.