NFL NEWS

S Mathieu welcomes fresh start with Texans

The Sports Xchange

March 19, 2018 at 3:00 pm.

Nov 26, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) breaks up a pass intended for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole in the second quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 26, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) breaks up a pass intended for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole in the second quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium. Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Tyrann Mathieu officially joined the Houston Texans on a one-year deal Monday, and the safety views his new team as a “fresh start.”

The deal is for $7 million, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

Mathieu signed with the Texans after being released by the Arizona Cardinals on Wednesday in a cost-savings move.

“I just want to prove my point that I’m one of the best safeties in this league,” he said at his introductory press conference in Houston on Monday. “Obviously I had some setbacks, I had some challenges and I tried to take those challenges head-on.

“I’m really just trying to come here with a clean slate. It’s a fresh start for me and I’m just trying to prove my point again.”

In 2017, Mathieu played in every game for the first time since his rookie season in 2013 and finished with 78 combined tackles and two interceptions. He also led the league with 1,263 total snaps — 1,056 on defense and 207 on special teams.

He was released just before $5.75 million of his 2018 salary and $8 million of his 2019 salary were set to become guaranteed. That was part of a five-year, $62.5 million extension Mathieu signed before the 2016 season.

“At this point in my career, getting released on the beginning of the new league year, I felt like I had to make a decision fast,” Mathieu said.

Mathieu, 25, has recorded 303 tackles, 11 interceptions, four sacks and four forced fumbles since being selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.