The Chiefs want to keep one of the best safeties in the NFL in Kansas City beyond this season.
General manager Brett Veach said Friday that getting an extension done with Tyrann Mathieu will become a priority down the line. After the 2021 NFL Draft next week, there will be more time to talk with the star safety's reps.
"I don't know if there's a timeline," Veach said. "Last year, we were able to get a lot of our guys done and they were all during the summer. For us, we were really attacking free agency, preparing for the draft. I can't say we've had extensive dialogue, but I'm sure once the draft is behind us, we'll have time to address where we are as a team after the draft and moving forward. I'm sure we'll have much more dialogue once we get (more) into the spring and summer."
Honey Badger enters the final season of a three-year, $42 million contract signed in 2019.
The 28-yer-old, three-time All-Pro safety has proven to be one of the most versatile, intelligent and difference-making, ballhawk secondary players in the NFL. In two years in K.C., he's compiled 10 interceptions, two sacks and 137 tackles. Mathieu's pre-snap intelligence and post-snap reactions are key to the K.C. defense. Few can read, react and make a play on the ball like the Honey Badger.
There is little question why the Chiefs would want to keep their defensive leader in town beyond next season. The question is simply how much it will cost and how long the contract will be for the nine-year pro. If the Chiefs can't lock down Mathieu long-term this year, the franchise tag could be an option in 2022.
Friday’s blockbuster news of the Chiefs trading for left tackle Orlando Brown shouldn't change K.C.'s desire to lock down Mathieu. It could, however, make the financial issues more difficult to iron out.
Brown won't come with a big long-term deal, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported. Brown will play out the final year of his deal, and contract talks should take place next offseason. If the Chiefs can't lock down Brown, he'd likely be a higher franchise-stage priority than Mathieu if it comes to that for either player.