Saints News Network’s Editor, Barry Hirstius examines the possibility of free agent safety, Tyrann Mathieu, signing with the New Orleans Saints.
The New Orleans Saints are expected to upgrade the safety position this offseason.
Coleman, who the Saints had signed last off-season to replace Kenny Vaccaro (now with the Tennessee Titans), was supposed to provide the Black and Gold’s secondary with an upgrade. Unfortunately for both the team and Coleman himself, he failed miserably to meet those expectations.
As evidence of that fact: Coleman was unable to supplant 3rd-year safety Vonn Bell; who ended up having his best season yet and was able to maintain the starter’s role over Coleman; which then made the 30-year old expendable and saved the Saints $4 million by releasing him.
Nevertheless, Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen will still need another strong safety to provide depth and competition for Bell, or at the very least find a role player equally talented (or perhaps better) to play alongside him in the team’s 3-safety sets that they often utilize in their base defensive scheme.
Considering that New Orleans doesn’t appear to have that player currently on their roster given the notable struggles last season of 2nd-year free safety Marcus Williams, it’s likely a given that Saints brass will address the position either through Free Agency or the Draft.
However, Coleman’s release now clears the way for one of the most popular free agents who will be available in this year’s market among Saints fans, in particular, to take over his spot in the Saints secondary: none other than “The Honey Badger” — a.k.a. New Orleans native, former St. Augustine High School star, former LSU All-American defensive back, and 6th-year NFL veteran Tyrann Mathieu.
After being named an All-American both in high school and in college (and the winner of the 2011 Chuck Bednarik Award, given every year to college football’s best defensive player) during his time in Baton Rouge, Mathieu eventually blossomed into an NFL superstar for the Arizona Cardinals after they drafted him in the 3rd Round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
However, he ended up tearing the ACL’s in both of his knees before ultimately battling back and making the Pro Bowl for Arizona in 2017. He was released during the last off-season and eventually ended up signing a one-year deal with the Houston Texans.