The Kansas City Chiefs have a busy offseason ahead of them. With the NFL Draft and the NFL Players Association’s CBA negotiations both underway, the team is trying to juggle a busy offseason while also deal with the recent extensions of several key players. Those players include the highest paid defensive back in the NFL in Harrison Smith, who will play under a new contract with the Minnesota Vikings after the Chiefs decided not to match the extension. Smith was scheduled to play 2018 under the franchise tag after his rookie contract expired at the end of the 2017 season.
Harrison Smith had a standout career with the Vikings, but he’s poised for a new chapter in Kansas City. Smith signed a six-year, $72 million extension that will keep him with the Chiefs through the 2020 season. The deal includes $40 million in guaranteed money, which is the highest amount of guaranteed money among defensive players in the NFL.
Harrison Smith’s extension with the Vikings is proving costly for the Kansas City Chiefs, who have been forced to dip into their wallet for a veteran safety to fill Smith’s slot. The Chiefs’ willingness to give a multi-year contract to a safety who was a backup a year ago is a sign that the team feels confident about its secondary, and it’s a risky bet that could backfire. The Chiefs gave cornerback Marcus Peters a seven-year, $103 million deal last year, which was an expensive gamble. In last week’s season opener, Peters was targeted by the Steelers, and he allowed a 98-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant to stick in Kansas City’s nether regions.
Because of the unexpectedly lucrative market that is the safety position, the Kansas City Chiefs are pushed into a hole. The Seattle Seahawks signed Jamal Adams to a hefty contract earlier this month, while the Minnesota Vikings extended Harrison Smith over the weekend. The Chiefs’ attempts to keep Tyrann Mathieu may be hampered by the structure of both agreements.
GM Brett Veach has performed miracles, most notably finalizing a Chris Jones contract in the same summer that star quarterback Patrick Mahomes inked his megadeal. Kansas City, on the other hand, has a lot of cap space locked up in a few players, and Mathieu is well-deserving of a large contract. But, although Mathieu may be worthy, is he worth the stress and wrangling required to close a deal?
Tyrann Mathieu’s contract with the Chiefs is coming to an end this season.
You’ll find out the truth soon enough.
August 29, 2021 — Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu Era)
Tyrann Mathieu has played a key role in Kansas City’s secondary.
In each of his first two seasons with the Chiefs, the safety was named to the All-Pro team. In the previous two seasons, Mathieu recorded a total of ten interceptions, including six in 2020. He has the ability to blitz from the edge or stack the box against the run.
Mathieu’s ball-hawking skills are impressive, but a closer look reveals his ability to cover. According to Pro Football Focus, he has the lowest passer rating allowed in the slot since 2019.
The Chiefs have a high-powered offense that can compete with any team in the NFL, but staying atop the AFC requires them to develop or acquire important defensive players. Signing Mathieu in 2019 aided Kansas City in doing so, and it’s probable that’s why Veach felt compelled to extend Jones last spring.
Mathieu’s tenure with the club, on the other hand, may be coming to an end. He’s on the latter year of a three-year, $42 million deal he signed in 2019. After the contracts granted to Adams and Smith, that deal seems to be a bargain. Mathieu is well aware of the situation.
The 29-year-old has been outspoken about his desire for more money. It’s possible that the Adams and Smith contracts will motivate the Chiefs to do something. However, Mathieu may want to be the highest-paid player at the position, and Kansas City is unlikely to be able to accommodate him. Not right now, at least.
Paying Mathieu what he’s worth now may put the Chiefs in a difficult position.
Tyrann Mathieu wants to remain in his hometown of Kansas City. The Chiefs are hoping to retain their All-Pro safety. As a result, an agreement seems to be unavoidable. But that isn’t the case.
The Chiefs are short on salary cap space. According to Over The Cap, they will be in the bottom half of the NFL in cap space for the next three seasons. This is mostly due to the fact that Mahomes’ cap hit begins to increase significantly in 2022.
Part of the problem is that the Chiefs have no idea what the salary cap will look like in the coming seasons or what roster bonuses may entail. That’s a crucial factor to consider, particularly because free agents Tyreek Hill and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will be available in the future seasons. Because to the COVID-19 epidemic, the franchise is already in the red. According to ESPN, Veach said this previously this summer. It makes things much more difficult.
Veach and company may not have a problem paying Mathieu what he’s worth, but in the NFL, deal structure counts. Is Mathieu looking for the most secure investment? If that’s the case, it may have a significant impact. The length of the contract is also taken into account.
On 1st look, Smith’s deal has to be the starting line in the extension negotiations between Tyrann Mathieu (age 29) & the Chiefs. https://t.co/2p2WtRVOD0
August 29, 2021 — Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor)
It may, in the end, come down to time. The front office in Kansas City may want to wait and see what the financial picture looks like after the statistics are crunched. Signing other players to long-term contracts and distributing the money around might help, but it’s a process that would take time. Mathieu might potentially be on a contract that expires this season. What would he think about that?
Neither party has set a firm timetable for the discussions. However, the Chiefs will very certainly be forced into action by the Harrison Smith contract in some manner.
Brett Veach may look at trade possibilities.
Could Tyrann Mathieu, the Chiefs’ standout safety, be traded? | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Mathieu is unlikely to be traded by Kansas City. The Chiefs are more likely to re-sign him and turn him into a cornerstone in the secondary. It’s conceivable, though, that the front office examines the trade path.
Mathieu is a young man, just 29 years old. He’s a turnover machine who’s been named to back-to-back All-Pro teams and is unquestionably one of, if not the greatest, players in his position. That makes him a valuable trade asset, particularly in light of the New York Jets’ deal for Jamal Adams.
In exchange for Adams, the Seattle Seahawks gave up two first-round choices to the New York Jets. If the Chiefs decide to deal Mathieu, they should be able to receive at least that much, if not more.
When it came to an extension, Mathieu may have been more ready to wait his turn. His colleagues, on the other hand, are working out their big-money agreements. Perhaps he’s developing a feeling of impending doom.
The Chiefs must choose between irritating Mathieu even more by being static in contract negotiations or risking losing the defensive engine if a deal is made. Regardless of what happens next, Veach is in an untenable situation.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
Tyrann Mathieu owes at least a portion of his $58 million NFL career to a Deion Sanders assist
The Kansas City Chiefs have exactly two weeks in which to try and find a way to replace a starting safety with a proven commodity, in a division with a very strong contender in the Denver Broncos, who have a lot of draft picks to go along with a gaggle of young, talented players.. Read more about kansas city chiefs players and let us know what you think.
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