Mathieu strikes different tone about extension with Chiefs

Sam McDowell
Kansas City Star (TNS)
Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu recently expressed optimism about a contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs.

For months now, safety Tyrann Mathieu has publicly addressed his future in Kansas City as he enters the final season of a three-year contract with the Chiefs. In previous interviews, the answers have shifted from hopeful to frustration. At one point, he sent — and then deleted — a Tweet saying an extension was unlikely.

On Thursday, asked to address it once more, he offered a different tone.

Optimism.

For the first time this offseason, when asked whether he believes an extension is in his future, he replied, "Yeah, I do."

"I have tremendous faith, not just in myself but in the people that surround me," he added. "I think about my family a lot. ... I've got to keep those things in perspective. I don't consider myself a guy that necessarily does things for his own benefit. More important, I'm just looking forward to continuing to be a Chief and continue to help the younger guys around me."

On his third team after stops in Arizona and Houston, Mathieu concluded, "I can't see me wearing any other uniform."

That's a shift in demeanor about the situation. Only a month ago, in response to a Twitter post asking if an extension would come, he replied, "Probably not. Been here before. All good." Hours later, he deleted the tweet. Days later, at a Zoom press conference, he asked people not to read too much into that.

"I think, first off, I delete a lot of tweets," he said then.

The Chiefs have publicly stated their desire to keep Mathieu long-term, a stance that even quarterback Patrick Mahomes joined Thursday. They credit him with overhauling the defensive attitude. The young players, particularly defensive backs, mention him often as a mentor.

It's about the numbers, as we looked into in a story earlier this month.

And it's about timing.

The Chiefs prioritized the NFL Draft and free agency because those arrived first. A year ago, they extended Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones and Travis Kelce in June and July.

The team broke minicamp Thursday, sending the players their separate ways. They won't meet again until training camp in late July, offering players time for vacations.

And, yes, potentially contract extensions.

"It's probably top of the list," Mathieu said of wanting to stay in Kansas City. "It's been everything I asked for. As for me, I feel like I can play football anywhere, but when you develop certain relationships with certain people, these people become a part of your life.

"Coach Spags (Steve Spagnuolo), Coach (Dave) Merritt, Coach (Andy) Red, Coach (Barry) Rubin — our strength coach — all of these men are important to me. I can't see me ever trying to walk away from that relationship. I've been through a lot in my life, so for me, I think holding onto certain relationships, I think that outweighs any monetary thing, any short feeling or any emotion I may be dealing with in the moment."