As the Kansas City Chiefs’ offseason has moved along, one thing has seemed pretty certain: that both the team and its All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu want to extend his contract beyond the coming season — which is the last of the three-year deal Mathieu signed in 2019.
Logic dictates that the Chiefs would want to get this deal done before the 2021 season begins. Otherwise, they’d run the risk of having to pay a higher price to extend Mathieu’s deal.
For these reasons, we have believed that Mathieu and the Chiefs would make a deal before the season begins. But with the beginning of the season now less than a month away, it hasn’t happened.
Mathieu has been asked about it in almost every appearance he’s made with the press. Most recently, he’s said that he wants (and expects) a deal to get done.
“Just being here the last couple of years, I can’t see me wearing any other uniform,” he told reporters two months ago. “The fans here are amazing. My teammates are amazing. I spoke about the relationships that I have with my coaches. Some of these things, you can’t buy [at] other places. I’m a guy that’s had to start over quite often, so I would like to stay here — for sure.”
But on Tuesday, the man on the other side of the negotiating table — Chiefs general manager Brett Veach — appeared on Sirus XM as the satellite network originated from the team’s training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.
.@Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach has no intentions of letting Tyrann Mathieu leave Kansas City...— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) August 17, 2021
"We know he wants to be here. Right now, for us and for him I think it's just a timing thing."
AUDIO | #Chiefs | #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/KaQxyjOqxz
“We’ve had a chance to talk to Tyrann and his representation,” Veach confirmed. “I think it’s a little difficult with the landscape right now — with having two cap-shortened offseasons — and where we are in terms of our offseason projections.”
That’s problem number one — that the Chiefs (along with all other NFL teams ) have less salary cap space than they would normally have. Veach went on to the next problem: that there’s still a lot of uncertainty about where things will be a year from now.
“As we discuss with Tyrann and his crew, it’s one of those situations — that where we are now will certainly not be where we are once the season ends. Once we correct some of these things — when you have extensions, conversions, trades, moves on — every team is certainly in a different position now (what their books say) as they will be in the [next] offseason.”
But Veach made it clear that like Mathieu and his representatives, the Chiefs want to find a way to make a new deal.
“We like to think we’re going to find a way to get this done. He knows we love him — and we know he wants to be here. Right now — for us and for him — I think it’s just a timing thing.
“But there’s not a guy in this league that I respect as much as him for the way he goes about his business. Listen, [for] a lot of these guys — a lot of these teams — we saw the franchise tag period come and go... and no [one’s new contract] got done. There have been a couple of deals, but a lot of these bigger deals haven’t been done for the same reason. Different players handle it in a different way — and just like you’d expect from Tyrann, [there’s been] just complete class.”
And then the GM reiterated his basic position.
“The guy’s special,” concluded Veach. “We love him. And we’re certainly going to work our tail off to keep him here.”