After an extended stay on the open market, veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu landed with the Saints. Under the circumstances, he got a good deal.
But there’s currently a vague question lingering. He tweeted on Monday night, and then deleted, this sentiment: “The only job where youth beats out experience without actually being better.” Roughly an hour later, he said this: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA.”
Meanwhile, all references to the Saints are gone from his Twitter page. We’ve seen that enough in recent years from other players to know that it almost always has meaning.
It’s not the first time Saints references were removed from his social media. Apparently, it happened during his excused absence from the team in the early days of training camp.
The latest developments are creating the impression that Mathieu could be released today. That would be highly unlikely, given that he received a $9.5 million signing bonus, has a fully guaranteed salary of $1.5 million this year, and has a fully guaranteed salary of $7 million in 2023. While there could be a resolution of his status that would possibly entail Mathieu giving up some of those guarantees, it would be odd to say the least for the Saints to cut a player to whom they gave a $9.5 million signing bonus during the offseason.
The more plausible explanation is that Mathieu may have been informed on Monday that he won’t be in the Week One starting lineup for the Saints. If that’s the case, we’ll find out soon enough — and no later than when the first official regular-season depth chart is released.
Whatever the situation, don’t underestimate Tyrann Mathieu. He still has significant skills, and he has always been a great leader. It nevertheless makes sense to pay attention to whatever is happening, because apparently something is.
UPDATE 10:22 a.m. ET: Mathieu has informed PFT that his deleted tweet (“the only job where youth beats out experience without actually being better”) was about the release of Tony Jefferson and “had nothing to do with me or Saints.”