Tyrann Mathieu ‘heartbroken’ over split with Chiefs
Tyrann Mathieu remains a free agent and it looks like his chances to return to the Kansas City Chiefs are slim to none. It’s not necessarily by his choice, though.
In a recent interview with Kansas City Star columnist Sam McDowell (which you should read in its entirety here), Mathieu spoke on his split with the Chiefs for the first time. Mathieu didn’t want to leave Kansas City, and when it was clear that the team intended to move on from him, he didn’t take it all too well.
“Bro, I was depressed,” Mathieu told McDowell. “Heartbroken. Heart. Broken.
“I could not understand it. I could not, man.”
It’s easy to see why he couldn’t understand. He’d been a great player and a great teammate, twice named team MVP, also earning multiple Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors during his three seasons in Kansas City.
Had the team offered Mathieu the contract they gave to his former Houston Texans teammate, Justin Reid, he says he probably would’ve taken it. That is after his agent did some agent things, but if that was the best the team could do for him, he says it would’ve been enough. The problem is, the Chiefs didn’t offer him any contract. No multi-year incentive-heavy contract, no one-year prove-it deal.
This didn’t exactly take Mathieu by surprise, though. He got the sense that this was coming during the 2021 NFL offseason, a time when his representation had very limited conversations with the Chiefs about a contract extension. McDowell says the thought crossed Mathieu’s mind that maybe they just didn’t want him back. After all, Mathieu had been through this before with the Cardinals and then the Texans. He’s struggled to find a long-term home in the NFL and he’s still coming to grips with that reality.
“What I can’t figure out,” Mathieu said. “is how the hell I’m gonna be on my fourth (NFL) team.”
Mathieu told McDowell that the anxiety about his contract situation and future impacted him during the 2021 NFL season too. Kansas City was where he wanted to be and the Chiefs were where he wanted to play for and he knew there was, “an expiration date.”
In some ways, Mathieu also owns a piece of his exit in Kansas City. He’s known as a passionate guy and that got him in trouble on social media last season, where he was caught calling the Chiefs’ fanbase toxic in an Instagram post. He owned up to it at the time and explained that he regretted his actions. Now, Mathieu says at that point he already knew the team wasn’t going to re-sign him and he says he, “got caught in a bad space.”
Mathieu is coming to terms with the fact that he won’t be in Kansas City next year. He’s taken a visit with the New Orleans Saints and a virtual meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he’s yet to sign with a new team.
As depressed and heartbroken as he is about it, he’ll look back on his time in Kansas City fondly — he did become a Super Bowl champion with the team, after all.
“Kansas City, it was cool, man,” Mathieu told McDowell. “I enjoyed it. It flew by.
“I just wish it was a little longer, you know what I’m saying?”