Steelers News

Labriola Confirms Steelers Have Interest In Tyrann Mathieu, ‘Would Have Enough Cap Space’ To Sign Him To Reasonable Deal

The 2022 NFL Draft is a couple of weeks away. Will the Pittsburgh Steelers know who their starting strong safety will be by then? I think that is one of the biggest questions remaining heading into key tentpole event.

It has seemed all along that their intention has been to sign a veteran to the position, with their own free agent, Terrell Edmunds, remaining an option. They reportedly have also expressed interest in Kareem Jackson, as well as Damontae Kazee, and most notably, Tyrann Mathieu.

While Mathieu himself has confirmed that he has spoken to the Steelers, there has remained a debate amongst reporters and beat writers as to whether or not it was even realistic that they could manage to sign him. Bob Labriola weighed in on that yesterday in his latest Asked and Answered installment.

The Steelers have an interest in signing Tyrann Mathieu”, he verified, “and they would have enough cap space to sign him to a two-year contract for what they believe he is worth. The issue is whether Mathieu agrees with the Steelers’ assessment about what he is worth”.

That is, of course, the crux of the situation. The Steelers are probably looking at a price tag of $8 million per season, or in that ballpark, similar to the deal that they signed inside linebacker Myles Jack to. Earlier comments indicate that Mathieu’s expectations still rest in the eight-figure range.

Recently speaking about his departure from the Kansas City Chiefs after they opted to sign Justin Reid in free agency rather than bring him back, Mathieu said that he was heartbroken over having to leave the Chiefs. He added that he probably would have ultimately relented and settled on taking the deal that they gave Reid, which was north of $10 million per season over three years.

So are the two parties a couple million dollars apart in negotiations? I can only presume that the Steelers have made him an offer, or at least discussed terms. If Mathieu was content with what he was offered, I imagine he would have signed already.

It’s unclear what the tipping point will be. Until the Steelers actually add a starting-caliber safety, they have to be considered as in the mix for Mathieu while he remains unsigned. What we don’t know is what has to happen in the market for him to reach a decision—other than, obviously, his price coming up.

While he did talk about not prioritizing trying to be the highest-paid safety, that doesn’t mean he’s looking to take a discount—it was suggested that that is what New Orleans’ offer to him amounted to.

The Saints’ ‘discount’ offer and Mathieu saying that he probably would have taken less than $10 million to stay where he desperately wanted to play are the only real money data points we have right now. But the more time passes, the more likely he is to be willing to be more flexible in his salary demands.

To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!