clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tyrann Mathieu will try to get back to All-Pro form after signing with the Texans

New, comment

The Honey Badger has an opportunity to get back to dominance.

Arizona Cardinals v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Tyrann Mathieu has a new home for the 2018 NFL season, after signing with the Houston Texans on a one-year deal. The team announced the move on Friday night.

Mathieu was released by the Arizona Cardinals on March 14, despite wanting to stay with the Cardinals. The team had given the hard-hitting safety a big five-year extension before the 2016 season, but wanted him to take a pay cut this offseason. The two sides couldn’t work out a deal.

Now, Mathieu will try to get back to his old ways in a new place. His deal with the Texans is worth up to $7 million, according to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. That’s less than he was set to make with the Cardinals, but if he returns to form in 2018, Mathieu can turn it into a bigger pay day next offseason.

What are the Texans getting in Mathieu?

Mathieu hasn’t been the same player since he got his extension. The season prior to signing it, he had 89 total tackles, five interceptions, and 17 pass breakups. He was an All-Pro talent.

However, a torn ACL ended his season in December that year, the second ACL tear of his career. After that, a shoulder injury made him miss six games in 2016. His 2017 was a nice recovery — the first time in his career he played in all 16 games. He finished the season with two interceptions and seven pass breakups, but it wasn’t anything like his All-Pro 2015 season.

That’s not to say he’s not capable of doing that again — he is. Mathieu is going to be just 26 years old next season. If he’s able to stay healthy, there’s no reason he can’t improve off of his 2017 season and get back to being one of the best safeties in the NFL.

What does adding Mathieu mean for the Texans?

The Texans have always been a strong defensive team under Bill O’Brien, and Mathieu should be a great fit for Romeo Crennel’s unit. Last season, they had to play without J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, but when healthy, can be one of the NFL’s best.

Watt, for one, is excited about his new teammate nicknamed “Honey Badger”:

And he should be. Houston’s defense struggled against the pass last year. The team already added cornerback Aaron Colvin and re-signed veteran cornerback Johnathan Joseph this offseason.

Mathieu, if he can be the playmaker he was in 2015 and in spurts last season, can be the Texans’ biggest addition yet.