METAIRIE, La. — This homecoming was well worth the await Tyrann Mathieu.
Not simply the previous a number of weeks of free company, when the three-time first-team All Professional was holding out hope for what he known as a “excellent” match along with his hometown New Orleans Saints. However the Tenth-year veteran insisted Wednesday that this was one thing he had been “manifesting” for the previous couple of years, even whereas thriving with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“This was the place I’ve at all times wished to be. And I believe most individuals round me, they wished that, too,” mentioned Mathieu, who identified the Saints have been the one workforce he visited in particular person throughout free company earlier than he signed a three-year deal that sources advised ESPN’s Adam Schefter is value $33 million with $18 million in ensures.
“From there it was nearly all the things coming collectively, aligning,” Mathieu mentioned. “However I’ve form of been manifesting this for some time now. Simply to have this chance means loads to me.”
I WISH MY GRANNY COULD SEE THIS! https://t.co/pWveHfKmx5
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) May 4, 2022
Mathieu solely hinted at a need to show the Chiefs (and different groups) flawed, telling the Saints’ podcast, “Pretty much as good of a soccer participant as I believe I’m, possibly I am not ok, so that is what’s form of preserving me motivated.”
And when a reporter talked about that Mathieu is about to show 30 on Might 13, he joked in response, “You mentioned 30 like that is outdated. I am simply heating up.”
Principally, nonetheless, Mathieu mentioned he’s excited to hitch a Saints protection below new head coach and former coordinator Dennis Allen that he has admired from afar for a number of years. And he’s equally excited to “affect the group that I grew up in.”
The sensation is mutual among the many Saints’ fan base, the place his jersey is already in excessive demand.
There was a time when the previous LSU and St. Augustine Excessive College star mentioned that leaving Southern Louisiana was the very best factor for him.
After the Heisman Trophy finalist was kicked off the LSU workforce for a number of failed drug checks in 2012 and was later arrested on a marijuana possession cost, Mathieu decided to change his surroundings and transfer away from some unfavorable influences as he targeted on maturing and reviving his soccer profession.
Then in 2016, after former Saints star Will Smith was shot and killed in New Orleans, Mathieu was vocal about how he did not really feel secure sufficient to spend greater than two days in his former metropolis — later explaining that his feedback have been tied to his feelings over dropping family members through the years.
Nevertheless, Mathieu got here again to host a youth camp later in 2016 and has been internet hosting camps ever since. He has additionally returned increasingly in recent times to Baton Rouge, the place he has been a giant LSU supporter.
“To be trustworthy, I’ve lived a protracted life on this NFL factor,” Mathieu mentioned with fun Wednesday. “After I realized the Saints wished me, and clearly I wished them, it was a scenario that I knew I wasn’t going to move up.
“New Orleans has at all times been an ideal place, this has at all times been an ideal group. I believe 10, 11 years in the past, after I was a 20-year-old child, I believe it was simply essential for me to form of take away myself from sure issues, sure environments, so I might work on myself and get myself to a sure level to the place I can come again house and be accountable and be the particular person I do know I might be. It has been an ideal course of.
“I’ve acquired nice folks that assist me, that I lean on. So I believe with out these folks and with out my dedication to simply attempt to do issues the precise manner, I believe this chance would not even be in entrance of me. So like I mentioned, I am simply grateful to be right here, to have this chance, and to have the ability to get locally and actually encourage these children to be higher, to present them some hope. I believe that is what it is in the end all about.”