According to sources, the New Orleans Saints and All-Pro safety Eric Weddle have agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract, with $18 million guaranteed. The contract language needs to be finalized before the agreement can be signed.
After the Kansas City Chiefs declined to re-sign him as a free agent, Mathieu, who will turn 30 on May 13 and had a distinguished collegiate career at LSU, met with the Saints in April at their team facility.
When New Orleans failed to select a high-impact safety in the NFL draught over the weekend, its need for one grew even more urgent. After Monday afternoon, free agents will no longer be included in the NFL’s compensatory draught pick formula, which could help boost the market for other big names who are still unsigned.
When Marcus Williams signed with the Baltimore Ravens and Malcolm Jenkins retired, the Saints lost both of their starting safeties. After signing Marcus Maye, a former New York Jets safety, earlier in free agency, they’ve now replaced both of them. Mathieu and Maye, in contrast to Williams and Jenkins, could be more interchangeable in the defense of new head coach Dennis Allen.
In addition to Gardner-Johnson, the Saints have kept standout safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who excels at covering wide receivers in the slot. Last month, the Saints met with both Mathieu and former LSU receiver Jarvis Landry, but neither player was signed, allowing the possibility of reopening negotiations if the team didn’t find a solution to their needs through the draught.
After three seasons in Kansas City, Mathieu ranks fifth in the NFL with 13 interceptions, including three in 2021 that he returned for a touchdown, as the nine-year veteran was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. The Chiefs, on the other hand, have moved on from Mathieu after signing free agent Justin Reid to a three-year, $31.5 million deal.