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Tyrann Mathieu on homecoming with Saints: 'I knew where I wanted to be'

New Orleans Saints safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson did his part to recruit Tyrann Mathieu to his squad, but it turns out it wasn't even needed.

The "Honey Badger" knew where he wanted to go.

"When I watch this defense, they pop off the screen. Just with energy and passion, and all the different handshakes that they do. It's fun and it's exciting," Mathieu said Wednesday when he officially signed with the Saints and was introduced to the media. "He didn't really have to sell me too much, I was already sold. I just needed a couple people to kinda give me the, 'yeah, that's cool, we'll take you over here.'"

Mathieu inked a three-year, $33 million deal with the Saints that brought about a long-desired homecoming for the New Orleans native and former LSU star.

"It's most definitely a dream," Mathieu said of signing with the Saints. "Having the opportunity to represent this team, to be a part of this locker room. I've always been a fan of the way the Saints play football. Just to have that opportunity, means a lot to me. More than anything I just want to take advantage of it and make the most of it."

While Mathieu was a free agent until the break of May, he knew where he wanted to land all along. It took some time, but he was plenty happy once it all came to fruition.

"I think from the get-go, I knew where I wanted to be," Mathieu said. "From there it was just about everything coming together and aligning.

"It just feels good to see it all come together. I've kind of been manifesting this for a while."

A three-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro who won a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs, the safety is set to play for his fourth team now.

He'll join former New York Jets standout Marcus Maye at the safeties spots of an excellent defense that also boasts defensive end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Demario Davis and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

Among Mathieu's top attributes have been his versatility and his intelligence manning the defensive backfield. He said Wednesday he was up for any task that head coach Dennis Allen had for him on defense and coming off a Pro Bowl campaign in which he had 76 tackles, three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and six passes defended, Mathieu's statistics tell the story of a player who can still do a little bit of everything.

Thus, when the soon-to-be 30-year-old was asked about whether this would be his final NFL contract, he let it be known he doesn't believe he's slowing down.

"I think I'm just heatin' up," Mathieu said.

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