If you currently own a Kansas City Chiefs jersey with “Mathieu 32” on its back, keep it — it may be a collector's item one day.
During Thursday’s media availability at Chiefs’ organized team activities (OTAs), the “Honey Badger” was asked about some recent tweets displaying his admiration for his “great friend” and Pro Hall of Fame inductee, Charles Woodson.
“Yeah, Charles — he’s always been a great mentor for me,” said Mathieu. “He’s always been somebody that believed in me, that’s always given me nuggets. I think if people are really able to look at Charles Woodson’s career, it really was the back end of his career, you know, that he really excelled. He won defensive player of the year and won a Super Bowl — so for me, that is motivation.”
Hoping that his best football is ahead of him, Mathieu is looking to emulate what Woodson managed to achieve in the second part of his career, both in Green Bay and in Oakland.
If Mathieu does manage to produce better football in the second part of his career than what we’ve seen in the first, there is a very good chance he may just be joining his mentor in Canton one day.
“I think a lot of people are saying that they think I’m getting old, and I look at a guy like Charles Woodson, who played 18-plus years at a high level, and you know, he seemed to get better and better, each and every year.”
Mirroring his on-the-field play isn’t the only way Mathieu plans to honor Woodson, as he confirmed that he plans to switch his jersey number from 32 to 21.
“I do, I’m hoping to switch next season (in 2022).”
We’ll have to wait and see if that change happens with Mathieu still wearing a Chiefs jersey.