The Texans newest safety Tyrann Mathieu had options for the first time in his NFL career when he entered free agency last week.
"I just wanted to come to a group where guys were hungry," Mathieu said in his Monday press conference. "Obviously, I'm very hungry at this point in my career. I wanted to come to a team that had great potential, a team that was dominant on defense and I think I made the right choice."
The First-Team All-Pro had a number of NFL teams hoping to improve their secondary after the Arizona Cardinals released him on March 14. Mathieu, who signed with Houston two days later, said money was not the only factor in his choice.
"I tried to make the best decision for me and my family, obviously," Mathieu said. "I felt like I had other options on the table, obviously more money but I think ultimately, the Texans were the best decision for me. Like I said, they have a lot of young guys. They have a great defensive line, some veterans in the secondary, and I felt like I could come in and help these guys."
Mathieu, now entering his sixth NFL season, spent his first five years in Arizona under head coach Bruce Arians who announced his retirement following the 2017 season. The New Orleans native admits it was hard to leave Phoenix, but is happy to return closer to home. Mathieu's family temporarily relocated to nearby Humble after Hurricane Katrina. Mathieu, who also trained in Houston prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, will wear No. 32 for the Texans.
"Well, I think at this point in my career, obviously getting released on the beginning of the new league year, felt like I had to make a decision fast but I wanted to make a safe decision," Mathieu said. "I wanted to make one that I was comfortable with, like I missed coming back down south. You know, obviously, I'm closer to my family. I think that played a part. I can't say it enough. I get to play with Clowney and Watt. I just stand in the middle of the field so I'm going to have a lot of fun."
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 3/2/2021)