KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tyrann Mathieu removed all doubt about what he wants his football future to be when he said Thursday that it's at the top of his priority list to finish his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
"It's been everything I've asked for," said Mathieu, who joined the Chiefs as a free agent in 2019 and helped the franchise win its first Super Bowl championship in 50 years that season. "I feel I can play football anywhere, but when you develop relationships with certain people, these people become a part of your life."
Mathieu mentioned his relationships with head coach Andy Reid and three assistants: defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, secondary coach David Merritt, and strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin.
"All of these men are important to me," Mathieu said. "I can't see me ever walking away from that relationship. I've been through a lot in my life, and so for me, I think, holding on to certain relationships, I think that kind of outweighs any monetary thing, any feeling of emotion I may be dealing with in the moment.
"For me, football comes fairly easy. When you have certain men in your life that are trying to coach the person just as much as they're coaching the player... The mental part of the game is so big for an athlete. If any athlete can find the right mental space, I think all of our games could really go to a new level. Obviously I love football, but I think having certain guys around me, I think it clears my head to focus on just the things that are in front of me.
"Kudos to my coaches for taking the time out to coach the person just as much as the player."
Mathieu had been pessimistic on social media about getting a contract extension from the Chiefs. He tweeted last month in response to a question about whether he would get the extension, "Probably not. Been here before. All good."
He deleted the tweet shortly afterward.
On Thursday he said he was optimistic about getting a new deal.
"I'm looking forward to continuing to be a Chief, continuing to help the younger guys around me and help the receivers, help anybody I can to continue to get better," he said.
"That's my focus. It should be my focus. Just being here the last couple of years, I can't see me wearing any other uniform. The fans here are amazing. My teammates are amazing. I spoke about the relationships I have with my coaches. Some of these things you can't buy other places. I'm a guy that's had to start over quite often. I would like to stay here, for sure."