Former Kansas City Chiefs cover man Bashaud Breeland once again – this time due to a reduced league-wide salary cap – finds himself facing a free agent cornerback deal diluted in 2021. After securing back-to-back year-long deals with the defending AFC champions, the 29-year-old once again hoped to capitalize on an elusive long-term payday.
Instead, his prospects in the open market were minimal until mid-May, leaving him without a team to deepen the NFL’s offseason schedule. Breeland sparked some interest among the Chicago Bears and did not sign a contract offer that was extended to him following a visit with the Minnesota Vikings on May 20.
Now one of Breeland’s closest allies, Tyrann Mathieu, wants to see him back in the fold of the Chiefs.
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Mathieu: Breeland among the “most underrated cornerbacks” of the NFL
Speaking to the media to close the first of three weeks of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), Mathieu was asked about Breeland – specifically the level of communication the two have had this offseason and what it would mean to play another year with him.
His answer was revealing.
“Fresh [Breeland], for me, he is one of the most underrated cornerbacks in this league, ”Mathieu told reporters at his May 27 press conference. “I really felt that over the past two years he had really helped us a lot, him and C-Ward [Charvarius Ward] really managing their sides of the court, being able to play press-man, bump-and-run with elite receivers. So he’s a guy who deserves a lot of credit for what we’ve been able to do defensively over the past two seasons.
“I try to keep a close relationship with all of my guys. Me and Breezy is probably a little different. We talk more than others, but we really wish him the best. Hopefully we can bring him back here, but like I said a lot of things are not under our control. I just try to continue to be a positive influence in his life and continue to encourage him no matter what.
With the mandatory minicamp fast approaching on June 15, a reunion is not yet out of the question, especially given Breeland’s built-in knowledge of Steve Spagnuolo’s defense over the past two seasons with the team.
However, the Chiefs’ nonchalant approach to reconnecting with the eighth-year veteran suggests that GM Brett Veach and the company are comfortable sticking to their philosophy in the position, a topic developed by Jordan Foote of ‘Arrowhead Report.
Does Mathieu switch to Breeland jersey number in 2022?
After Kansas City managed to kick the NFL on relaxing jersey number options for running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and defensive backs this offseason, a number of the league’s leading playmakers have already traded their numbers.
Mathieu won’t be in that squad this season, but All-Pro security previously revealed their plans for 2022 on Twitter in early April, telling a curious fan, “I pass in 21 years 10. “
A day later, on April 8, Mathieu apparently provided more context in tweet a photo former Raiders and Packers great Charles Woodson, who donned number 21 for his seven seasons at Green Bay from 2006 to 2012.
– Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) April 9, 2021
On Thursday, Mathieu explained the importance of the decision and the impact the Hall of Fame defensive back has had on his career.
“I hope to move on to [No. 21] next season, ”Mathieu confirmed on May 27. “I think Charles has always been a great mentor to me. He’s always been someone who believed in me, it always gave me nuggets, and I think if people are really able to look at Charles Woodson’s career, that’s really the background of his career he really excelled and he won the title of defensive player of the year. and won the Super Bowl. So for me that’s motivation.
“I think a lot of people say I’m getting older and I watch guys like Charles Woodson who played 18 and over at a high level and he looked better and better every year.”
The number 21 sons, of course, have been worn by Breeland since moving to Kansas City in 2019. If he didn’t return to the Chiefs in 2021, those numbers could end up attached to two new players over the next two seasons.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Strong on the Facebook community of chefs for the latest Chiefs Kingdom releases!