Eagles miss out on Mathieu, who plans to sign with Saints


One more safety off the market for the Eagles.

Tyrann Mathieu, the four-time Pro Bowl free agent safety, has agreed to contract terms with the Saints, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Saints have long been considered the favorite to sign Honey Badger since the Chiefs elected to not bring him back, but the Eagles have been very involved as well.

NFL Network initially reported back in March that the Eagles were in touch with Mathieu and had a virtual visit with him.

Rapoport tweeted on April 7 that the Eagles had emerged as a “prime location” for Honey Badger.

But Mathieu is a native of New Orleans, played football at St. Augustine in New Orleans and played college ball at LSU in Baton Rouge, and the chance to return home was too much for Mathieu to pass up.

Mathieu, who turns 30 next week, spent his first five seasons with the Cardinals, who drafted him in the third round in 2013, then one year with the Texans and the last three with the Chiefs, where he made three straight Pro Bowls the last three seasons and was a first-team all-pro in 2020.

Mathieu has 26 career interceptions, including three pick-6’s, as well as 41 tackles for loss, 25 QB hits, four forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries in 129 career games.

Although his level of play declined a bit in 2021, he remains a very good playmaking safety and would have been a major upgrade for the Eagles, who right now are projected to start Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps after letting veteran Rodney McLeod walk in free agency.

The Eagles didn’t draft a corner or a safety this year, and the only defensive back they signed during free agency was Harris, who returned to the Eagles for a second season.

On Saturday evening, after the draft, Howie Roseman was asked about Mathieu and did not sound particularly optimistic about the Eagles’ chances to land him.

“I think where we are at the safety position – we have a lot of confidence in Anthony,” he said. “That's why we brought him back. We have a lot of confidence in Marcus. Marcus played really good football for us last year. We have a lot of confidence in K’Von [Wallace] … and we'll continue to look at that position.”

As of now, the Eagles’ projected secondary would consist of Pro Bowler Darius Slay along with 2021 fourth-round pick Zech McPhearson, Avonte Maddox, Harris and Epps.

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