KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs agreed to a three-year, $31.5 million contract with safety Justin Reid, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press, likely ending Tyrann Mathieu's time with Kansas City.
The deal with Reid was reached late Monday and includes $20 million guaranteed, the person said to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because signings cannot become official until Wednesday. ESPN.com was first to report the deal.
The 25-year-old Reid was a third-round pick of Houston in the 2018 draft and has been one of the few solid parts of the struggling Texans over the past four seasons. He has started 53 of 57 career games, including 13 last season, when he made 66 tackles with four passes defensed and a forced fumble.
While he doesn't come with the same kind of resume of Mathieu, a three-time All-Pro whose contract expired after last season, Reid is significantly younger and potentially joins the Chiefs with his best years ahead of him.
The Chiefs had expressed optimism about bringing back Mathieu last offseason, but the two sides could never agree on a contract extension. The chances of him returning continued to dwindle as the season pressed on, and it appears as if Kansas City intended to go in a different direction as soon as free agency began in earnest this week.
The 29-year-old Mathieu will nonetheless go down as one of the best free-agent signings in Chiefs history. He was the on-field leader for a defensive resurgence under coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, helping the franchise reach three consecutive AFC title games, make two trips to the Super Bowl and win its first championship in 50 years.
“We love Tyrann and it’s a matter of how that all fits in,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said during the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis earlier this month. "We all love him, so I think that’s important.”
The cash-strapped Chiefs, who earlier put the franchise tag on left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., freed up some space Tuesday when they managed to restructure the contract of pass rusher Frank Clark. His salary cap hit would have been a prohibitive $26.3 million this season and $27.8 million, but the new deal is expected to save at least $11 million this season.
The 28-year-old Clark has been largely disappointing since the Chiefs acquired him in a trade with Seattle during the 2019 offseason, then lavished him with a massive contract. He made only 22 tackles with 4 1/2 sacks in 14 games last season, but he did play his best during the playoffs, just as he had the previous three seasons.
Clark has 18 1/2 sacks along with five forced fumbles during his first three seasons in Kansas City.
“Kansas City is home. I bought a house here. My daughter goes to school here. It's home,” Clark said after the Chiefs lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC title game. “I want to be here for the future, for the rest of my career, but like you said, unfortunately, that’s the way business goes. Things don’t happen the way you want them to happen all the time.”
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