It’s time for Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu to get the flowers he deserves

As the NFL prepares for the 2024 season, New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu clearly isn’t being appreciated for how productive he is.
New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Tyrann Mathieu is one of the most popular athletes of a generation. Breaking onto the scene as a versatile player with LSU, the Honey Badger became a national sensation. His story got a bit rocky after that, but he still became a four-time All-Pro, three-time Pro-Bowler, and Super Bowl-winning safety. Now, Mathieu is preparing for his 12th season in the NFL, and his third with his hometown New Orleans Saints.

However, for as productive as Mathieu has been throughout his career, he can sometimes be just reduced to his name, or his nickname and the showstopper he was at LSU. People often recognize the legend of Tyrann Mathieu but don't actually acknowledge how good he still is.

NFL writer Dan Parr wants that to change in 2024. In a recent piece looking at one player to root for from each NFC team, Parr argued everyone should be rooting for Mathieu. The reason why is that Mathieu is still one of the best safeties in football and really isn’t being recognized for it.

"Let’s not sleep on the Badger’s abilities, OK? I know he’s heading into his age-32 season, but he remains one of the best players at his position and should be getting more recognition for it. I’m rooting for Tyrann to get the flowers he deserves in 2024, and I appreciate that he doesn’t take his opportunities for granted."

Dan Parr

Tyrann Mathieu has been an elite safety for the Saints

Parr dove into the numbers to show just how good Mathieu has been. He highlighted that Mathieu “led all safeties with a targeted EPA of -37 (expected points added allowed when the player was targeted as the nearest defender), per Next Gen Stats.“

Simply put, Mathieu makes things incredibly hard for opposing offenses.

Last season, Mathieu appeared in all 17 games, recording 75 tackles, nine pass deflections, and four interceptions for 122 return yards and a touchdown. Now 32, he recently signed an extension that sets him up to possibly end his career in New Orleans. He has one goal for the next couple of seasons: bringing the city a Super Bowl.