How can Steelers make room to sign Tyrann Mathieu?

Bully Mathieu has been in high demand since being ruled out by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Pittsburgh Steelers are keeping their options open for him.

Though Tyrann Mathieu was once the NFL’s highest-paid safety, a lot has changed over the course of the NFL offseason. Mathieu, who was expected to land a costly franchise tag to stay with the Kansas City Chiefs, was instead replaced by former Houston Texans teammate Justin Reid. Mathieu remains a valuable free agent, and despite earning $14 million last season, he admitted he would have settled for Reid’s $10.5 million annual salary. The Steelers have a limited amount of money left in cap space, and while they may have to offer Mathieu less money than he made last season, he might be open to a pay cut like he was with the Chiefs.

The Steelers currently have cap space of $13.2 million. In Mathieu’s last contract with the Chiefs, he was signed at $42 million for three years. He averaged about $14 million per year, which does not include bonuses. If he signs with the Steelers, he faces a nearly $1 million pay cut unless the Steelers can negotiate the salaries of their other players.

The Steelers have shown interest in signing Mathieu but he may not want to sign with them. When Mathieu is presented with an offer, the decision depends on whether he agrees with her assessment.

“The Steelers have an interest in signing Tyrann Mathieu and they would have enough room to sign him on a two-year deal for what they believe they are worth. The question is whether Mathieu agrees with the Steelers’ assessment of what he’s worth.” -Bob Labriola, via

Can the Steelers make way to sign Tyrant Mathieu?

Though the Steelers were a favorite to sign Mathieu in the early offseason, the 29-year-old safety has received offers from other NFL teams. The Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints have also expressed interest in him, but according to ProFootballTalk, “Reports have indicated he’s not particularly close to signing with anyone.”

Mathieu publicly expressed his dismay at being released by the Chiefs, which could make it even harder for the Steelers to sign him on a lower contract.

“Brother, I was depressed. Broken heart. Heart. Broken. To be honest, if they had offered me Justin Reid’s deal I would of course have tried to negotiate, but if they had drawn their line in the sand there I probably would have accepted it. I probably would have taken it. Agents will do their thing, but at the end of the day it’s the player’s choice whether to sign it or not. I probably would have taken it.” -Tyrant Mathieu, via

This is likely to be a difficult transition for Mathieu and it would make sense for him to aim for a higher contract when he starts with a brand new team. While he has yet to sign with a team, Mathieu remains a highly acclaimed talent in the NFL and is expected to sign a competitive offer that indicates his worth. How can Steelers make room to sign Tyrann Mathieu?

John Verrall

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