If the New Orleans Saints move on from Marcus Williams this offseason, they could go after another just as talented safety in free agency.
The 2022 offseason intends to play out like a line of falling dominoes: one thing naturally leads to another, and teams are often left at the mercy of individual player desires and preferences. Aaron Rodgers just signed a deal that makes him the highest paid player in NFL history. Bengals’ Jessie Bates got slapped with a franchise tag which means Saints’ Williams has become the top free agent safety at the moment.
The Kansas City Chiefs also slapped Orlando Brown with the franchise tag, causing safety Tyrann Mathieu to reassess his options. Could Mathieu be considering a move to New Orleans?
His activity on social media, while not to be relied upon, could signal toward at least a phone call between the veteran defender and the Saints.
Mathieu recently commented not one, but two fire emojis on a Saints post linking Mathieu to the Big Easy in 2022. They’re just emojis, we know, and it likely means nothing, but as we’re in the business of speculation, this could be the start of something.
New Orleans Saints could be surprise destination for safety Tyrann Mathieu in 2022
Mathieu has four years on Marcus Williams, which has both its pros and cons. If not franchise-tagged, Williams would have served as a potential cornerstone piece in the Saints’ secondary for years to come; Mathieu may only sign a one-year contract and leave the team by 2023.
The 2019 Super Bowl champ is nonetheless one of the most highly coveted safeties on the market and would help the Saints stay competitive for at least this upcoming season. Mathieu’s premier ballhawk skills saw him record 13 interceptions in the last three seasons, and he’s played 15 games or more every year since 2017.
Heading into the 2022 season, the Saints offense arguably needs much more improvement than its defense, but having a top-tier option like Mathieu has to be a good thing. It gives NOLA another playmaking safety in the backfield, should the team choose to move on from Williams, and Mathieu on his part has gestured some slight indication that he’s open to joining the Saints.
With the Saints cap issues, the money may not be entirely there (Mathieu’s market value stands at roughly $15 million per year), but as we’ve already witnessed this offseason, crazier things have happened.
In a perfect world, the Saints could somehow get both Mathieu and Williams at the same time, but we’ll settle for one or the other.