The Los Angeles Rams and free agent safety Tyrann Mathieu have been rumored to have mutual interest in working out a deal. The talented defensive back has already visited with his hometown New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles, though the latter meeting was of the virtual variety.
There have been recent rumblings that the Pittsburgh Steelers may also be interested. While each of those teams have their distinctive traits that may make their pitches alluring for the former Super Bowl winner, none can offer what the Rams bring to the table.
Iron sharpening iron
Although Mathieu is a three-time first-team All-Pro, there are always new tricks and techniques to help improve one’s play on the field. Going against some of the best in the NFL every day at practice — Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford, Allen Robinson, and Tyler Higbee to name a few — would provide unique challenges and likely generate an elite level of competition. His other known suitors don’t have the offensive firepower at wide receiver, quarterback, and tight end to provide that unique opportunity.
Double the payback against his former team
While the Honey Badger is unlikely to still have revenge on his mind after being cut by the Arizona Cardinals, there was once a time that there was a bit of bad blood. A 2018 article from Cardswire.com referenced a Mathieu rant during a live stream from his Instagram page.
“Man, I’m not coming back to Arizona after what y’all did to me. Y’all crazy man. Y’all people did me wrong in Arizona. I’ll never come back to Arizona. I’m going to always take care of the community though, but I ain’t coming back after what y’all did to me.”
While the Saints do travel to Arizona in 2022, they can’t offer the intensity and high-stakes that come with a division rivalry, plus the chance to double the pleasure by beating the Cardinals twice. The Rams have dominated the Cardinals, leading the all-time series 47-39, adding two ties between the teams.
Legitimate chance at another Super Bowl ring
With all due respect, the Eagles, Steelers, and Saints are not likely to win their division, much less compete for a Super Bowl title at this point. Of course, each of those teams could still improve their chances by adding to their roster through free agency, the NFL draft, or even an unexpected trade.
Meanwhile the reigning Super Bowl champions are primed for another run at the Lombardi trophy as one of the best teams in the league. Playing on a loaded defense with Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Greg Gaines, Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner doesn’t hurt either.
The chance to experience the Aaron Donald effect
Everyone that plays on a defense with Donald is better because of it. There aren’t too many of AD’s former teammates that have shined in their new locations, after cashing in on their “Donald influenced” statistics.
Donald is a game-wrecker for offenses and a game-changer for his defensive teammates. Mathieu would be wise to see what the Aaron Donald effect could do for his game and legacy.