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Tyrann Mathieu: Saints don't 'really need me, but it would be good to go back home'

Tyrann Mathieu visited his hometown team on Tuesday, meeting with the New Orleans Saints brass.

"First and foremost, it's a great opportunity with Dennis Allen stepping into the lead position," Mathieu said of his visit, via Wilson Alexander of The Advocate. "He's a great defensive mind. I have a lot of respect for Mrs. (Gayle) Benson and the kind of things she does throughout the community. It's a team I grew up watching. Any time I get to play in front of family and friends, it obviously gives me more energy. It would be a great opportunity if that was to come."

The New Orleans native played his college ball at LSU and has been heavily involved in the community during his nine years in the NFL.

Mathieu downplayed his chances of actually signing in New Orleans.

"I have a great relationship with Cam Jordan, Marshon Lattimore," he said. "The list goes on and on. Any time I see the Saints play defense, I always tap myself on the shoulder and say, 'Hey, I could probably roll with those guys.'

"Those guys have done a great thing. The last couple years, they've been like top-five in defense. I don't think they really need me, but it would be good to go back home and help them win."

The Saints lost Marcus Williams to Baltimore in free agency and watched Malcolm Jenkins retire. They signed Marcus Maye in free agency, added depth in veteran Daniel Sorensen and have Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who can play safety, along with Justin Evans and J.T. Gray filling out the position.

So maybe the Saints don't need the Honey Badger, but he'd certainly make a good defense better. Mathieu's versatility to play all over the field, drop in coverage, press the line of scrimmage or blitz allows him to upgrade any D. In New Orleans, he'd make a stout secondary much more multiple and scary.

The meeting with the Saints was the Honey Badger's first this offseason.

"This is my third time in free agency, unfortunately," he said. "This time around, it's not about being the highest-paid safety. It's not about breaking news or anything like that. I want my family to be comfortable. I think I've worked hard enough and long enough in this league to be able to have that. I want to play for a team that has a chance to win a championship, but outside of that, I want my kids and my family to be happy and be safe."

If it truly is not about the money, signing in New Orleans makes a ton of sense for Mathieu and his family.

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