26-Year-Old Safety – Houston Texans
2018 Fantasy Football Outlook
Mathieu and the Cardinals couldn't get it quite right, but Houston was eager to give him a new shot at safety. Something of a safety/slot corner tweener for the Cardinals, Mathieu's role with the Texa...
Tyrann Mathieu Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Texans in March of 2018.
The Texans want Mathieu to focus on playing safety, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. "We told [Mathieu] that we really do value versatility, but we also understand that a guy needs to have basically one home," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said. "He needs to understand and master that one home, which is safety for Tyrann. Then, in different packages that are played less of the time, maybe he does something else."
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|2018 Proj||26||HOU||Subscribe now to see our 2018 projections for Tyrann Mathieu|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Tyrann Mathieu: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Injuries have robbed Mathieu of the stardom that otherwise likely would have been in store for him to this point, but with a new season comes new hopes that we might see what was previously denied. After a torn ACL ended his 2015 and a shoulder issue held him to 560 snaps in 10 games last year, the 25-year-old will hopefully see a full season this time around. Renowned for his blitzing and playmaking ability in coverage, there is untapped upside here but also a wide range of possibility. With Tony Jefferson no longer around, there is in any case ample opportunity.
Mathieu suffered his second torn ACL in three seasons last December, but not before emerging as one of the NFL's top defensive backs on the back of 89 tackles, 17 passes defended, five interceptions (one pick-six), one forced fumble, and one sack in 14 games. The injury (and his slow recovery from the first ligament tear) have seemingly inspired the three-year pro to wait until he's ready to contribute to his entire capacity, leaving his availability for Week 1 in limbo. No matter if he takes the field at the outset of the upcoming campaign (or not), he could have a contract extension in hand as a result of ongoing negotiations with the Cardinals.
Mathieu was off his game in 2014 due to his recovery from ACL and LCL tears suffered in the previous campaign. However, the Cardinals' previous defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, was forced to use five or six defensive backs on most snaps, meaning Mathieu still maintained a steady role. By season's end, Mathieu had notched 37 tackles (35 solo), four passes defended, one interception, two tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery in 13 contests. Unfortunately for Mathieu, Rashad Johnson also mans free safety and led the defense with 93 tackles and four interceptions last year, who could place a damper on Mathieu's eventual snap count and, by proxy, his production.
Mathieu won't necessarily produce like a top-25 IDP this year, but that would only be the case if the torn ACL/LCL injury he suffered in December limits his workload early in the season. He's expected to be ready for Week 1, however, so there's a decent chance that he's ready to hit the ground running by the time the season starts. To the surprise of no one who ever saw him play at LSU, Mathieu displayed unique upside as a safety/slot corner hybrid. Despite playing a part-time role early in the year, he finished with 68 tackles (65 solo), one sack, and two interceptions in 13 games, and he'll be locked into a three-down role this year as soon as he's physically able to play. Mathieu forced 11 fumbles and posted 16 tackles for loss in his two years at LSU, and his nose for the ball gives him significant upside once he regains full strength.
Mathieu will battle for the starting free safety position against Yeremiah Bell. Mathieu will also likely be featured on special teams as the Cardinals will look to utilize his return ability.