Tyrann Mathieu Gives Houston Texans A Much-Needed Playmaker In The Secondary

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NFL free agent Tyrann Mathieu has found a landing spot with the Houston Texans. The energetic defensive back may be just what the Texans need as they look to contend not only for the AFC South but for the AFC championship as well.

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the Houston Texans will lock up former Arizona Cardinals’ defensive back Tyrann Mathieu to a one-year deal.

Tyrann Mathieu will make $7 million this season. It is a slight raise from the $5.75 million Mathieu was scheduled to earn before he was released (courtesy of ESPN) by the Cardinals earlier in the week.

The Cardinals determined that it was best to part ways with Tyrann Mathieu after failing to get him to agree to a pay cut. Since the Cardinals had a need for a veteran quarterback, money needed to be freed up. Clearly, Tyrann Mathieu was a cap casualty.

By releasing Mathieu, the Cardinals were able to add QB Sam Bradford to a two-year deal (courtesy of Arizona Sports). It remains to be seen if the Tyrann Mathieu for Sam Bradford trade-off will work in favor of the Cardinals. What Arizona loses is the Houston Texans’ gain.

Tyrann Mathieu was a free agent for a couple of days. Assuredly, the six-year veteran was going to have his share of suitors.

Tyrann Mathieu leaves the football field.
Tyrann Mathieu has made himself into one of the NFL’s more entertaining defensive playmakers.Featured image credit: Norm HallGetty Images

It was thought that as many as seven teams were in the running for Tyrann Mathieu. One of those teams was the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers’ level of interest was truly unknown, but the need for help in the secondary was prevalent. The Packers signed Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller to an offer sheet. However, the Bears matched the contract (courtesy of Inquisitr News).

Another team believed to be in the running for Tyrann Mathieu was the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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By landing with the Houston Texans, Tyrann Mathieu goes to a team many viewed as being on the cusp. It was injuries, most notably season-ending injuries to Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt, which doomed the Texans last season. Even with both players healthy a void in the secondary was present.

What Tyrann Mathieu brings to the Houston Texans is energy and the ability to create big hits.

Tyrann Mathieu has 11 interceptions and four forced fumbles during his time with the Arizona Cardinals. In 2015, Mathieu was selected to the NFL All-Pro team.

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His deal with the Houston Texans is a “prove it” contract. If Tyrann Mathieu’s ability to make plays transfers over to the Texans he could become a long-term fixture for their secondary. At age 26, Mathieu has plenty of room to grow.

The AFC South is home to a handful of good running backs and wide receivers. Tyrann Mathieu is considered as a strong tackler. If the Houston Texans’ front seven can get to the quarterback, Mathieu will have a terrific season.