Honey Badger is heading north to Kansas City.
The Chiefs have signed the former Houston Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu to a three-year, $42 million deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. The team later made the news official.
The second big-name safety to come off the board in free agency, Mathieu cashed in just hours after the Washington Redskins handed Landon Collins a gargantuan six-year, $84 million contract. Collins' $14M per-year average jacked up Mathieu's price, Rapoport reported, and the Chiefs complied.
Mathieu's arrival could signal the end of Eric Berry in Kansas City. The injury-prone fan favorite is owed $35.2 million in base salary over the next three years but has struggled to stay on the field of late. Berry has played just three regular-season games since the start of the 2017 season.
A younger, healthier, more reliable model, Mathieu has not missed a game in two seasons. Signed by Houston last year on a $7 million prove-it deal, Honey Badger did just that, recording two picks, a career-high three sacks and 89 total tackles for the Texans.
Mathieu should immeasurably improve a Chiefs secondary that ranked 31st in the league last year in passing yards allowed per game (273.4). NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported that K.C. wanted in a defensive back signing a "culture changer" and a guy who "will compete every week." Mathieu was their man.