Sources: Tyrann Mathieu’s somewhat complicated market could spell exit from Kansas City, potentially lead to New Orleans homecoming

Tyrann Mathieu enters free agency with a complicated market. With a return to the Chiefs unlikely, could he find a home with the Saints?

Tyrann Mathieu has been incredibly valuable for the Kansas City Chiefs as a hard-hitting, rangy safety capable of playing multiple positions. However, a complicated market in free agency could mean the versatile defensive back ultimately suits up for a new team in 2022.

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Tyrann Mathieu expected to leave Kansas City in free agency

Now that his three-year, $42 million contract has expired, Mathieu heads into free agency. His exit from Kansas City is expected, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly, one year after contract discussions didn’t result in an extension. The two sides weren’t on the same page in terms of financial expectations.

The Chiefs’ safety position is also in good hands with Juan Thornhill, another consideration in those conversations.

Mathieu, 29, is headed into a somewhat complicated market. It could wind up somewhat disappointing for an incredibly productive team leader who was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the second time.

The presence of other top safeties like the New Orleans Saints’ Marcus Williams and the Seattle Seahawks’ Quandre Diggs factor in, as do Mathieu’s financial expectations.

Saints, Ravens a possible landing spot for Mathieu?

The New Orleans Saints — Mathieu’s hometown team — are of high interest to him, and it’s a mutual situation of interest, according to sources. If the Saints lose Williams, Mathieu could step in as a capable replacement.

The Baltimore Ravens, often speculatively linked to Mathieu, have other free agency considerations. A big Mathieu contract may be something of a luxury item for Baltimore and other teams.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, Mathieu had 76 tackles (60 solo), 2 tackles for losses, 3 interceptions, and 6 pass deflections last season. He returned an interception for a touchdown against the Ravens to boot.

Mathieu’s last deal included $26.8 million guaranteed, a $14.8 million signing bonus, and an average annual salary of $14 million.

Mathieu had multiple NFL teams interested in his services the last time he was a free agent. It just might not be quite the same level of interest now that he’s approaching his 30th birthday in May.

Aaron Wilson is the NFL Insider for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL.

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