– Tyrann Mathieu is coming home.
A source confirmed to ESPN that the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a contract with the All-Pro safety, who grew up in New Orleans and starred at LSU. Details of the agreement were not immediately available.
Mathieu, who turns 30 on May 13, visited with the Saints at their team facility in April after he was not re-signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent. He also met virtually with the Philadelphia Eagles. But New Orleans’ need for an impact safety increased when it did not select one during the NFL draft over the weekend.
Also, free agents who sign after Monday afternoon will no longer factor into the NFL’s compensatory draft pick formula — which could help boost the market for other big names who remain unsigned.
The Saints lost both of their starting safeties this offseason when Marcus Williams signed with the Baltimore Ravens and Malcolm Jenkins retired. But they have now replaced both after signing former New York Jets safety Marcus Maye earlier in free agency.
Unlike Williams and Jenkins, who were true free and strong safeties, respectively, Mathieu and Maye could be more interchangeable in new head coach Dennis Allen’s defense. Standout safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who is adept at covering slot receivers, also remains in New Orleans.
The Saints visited with both Mathieu and former LSU receiver Jarvis Landry last month but didn’t sign either player — keeping the possibility alive that they could revisit talks if they didn’t fill those needs in the draft.