JASON BROWN: What is taking so long with Mathieu's extension?
I can't be the only Kansas City Chiefs fan wondering why defensive back Tyrann Mathieu has not received a contract extension ahead of the team's training camp later this month.
You would think the Chiefs would want to scrub their hands clean of the Frank Clark arrest news that occurred two weeks ago. Yet, the Clark news is still the most recent piece of notable news regarding the team. My first instinct following the Clark arrest news breaking would be to find the Honey Badger and give him a new deal so we can all talk about something more positive than the team's second-best pass rusher potentially missing games when pass rush is – still – one of the team's weaknesses.
But no, the Chiefs still haven't made the move that every analyst suggested they make back in March prior to free agency beginning. When the club was opening up salary cap space with contract restructurings of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, it seemed like a given that they extend Mathieu's contract to gain more cap space.
The 2020 First Team All-Pro safety has been one of the best – if not the best – player on the defensive side of the ball since arriving in 2019. He joined the Chiefs on a three-year deal and that contract is set to expire at the end of the upcoming season.
He is the loudest, most influential voice on the defense and plays as hard as he asks any of his teammates. The Chiefs are the first team to use Mathieu to his potential and he thrives as the do-it-all guy in Steve Spagnuolo's defense. So it just doesn't make sense to me why the Chiefs are potentially going to put Mathieu in an interesting situation where he will have to decide whether or not to attend camp without security beyond this year.
The practice of skipping training camp in retaliation to not receiving a contract extension prior to the season has worn its welcome and it usually doesn't work out well for either side. I don't expect Mathieu to skip camp if he doesn't receive a new contract but I hate the idea of the team putting him in that position. For everything he does for this team and city, he deserves to have contract security going into this season. Not every player in professional sports gets that luxury but Mathieu isn't the kind of player that should hit the open market at this point in his career.
Mathieu has faced pressure during his media appearances to spill the beans about current negotiations and even posted a now-deleted Tweet that described the situation in a less than ideal light. He shouldn't have to answer these questions because he doesn't have to justify his price tag more than he already does on the field.
I hope the Chiefs and Mathieu come to an agreement before camp and the preseason starts so everyone can be focused on winning the Super Bowl.
Jason Brown is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org