American Football Safety Justin Reid is replacing free agent Tyrann Mathieu. He confessed his friendship with Mathieu and learned from him when the pair were colleagues at Houston Texans.

But Reid, who penned a three-year deal with Kansas City Chiefs, said he won’t be mistaken for Tyrann Mathieu once he gets on the playing field and his performance will determine if he’ll enter NFL selections in the long run. Reid’s plan is to set his own course.

“A copy is never worth as much as the original, there will never, ever, ever be another Tyrann Mathieu come through Kansas City. But I can bring the best Justin Reid possible to Kansas City. I want to play to my strengths. I want to play to who I am”, he said.

He continued, “You can expect a guy that’s going to be not only physical but a guy that’s going to make plays on the ball, be that field general on the back end, and make sure everything is airtight. If there’s a guy in the wrong colored jersey in my area … I’m going to make him pay for coming into my space.”

In 2018, Reid was a rookie, the single-season Mathieu played at Houston before joining the Chiefs. The leadership skills of Mathieu left an impression on the youngsters.

Reid said, “I’ll never forget his thing was a mentality and attitude, the work ethic and just playing with savviness.” 

“He called it ‘championship swagger.’ … His pregame speeches were second to none. He was a big leader in the room, he’s someone that everybody gravitated to. So when he did leave Houston, I kind of took over a little bit of that role by the precedent that he set.”

Mathieu was an authority every defensive player in the Chiefs’ locker room listened to for his three years in Kansas City. He’s now a free agent and Reid disclosed he planned to help fill his vacant boots once the Chiefs return next month for the beginning of their offseason conditioning program.

Reid said, “That’s not something that’s just given or appointed to someone, that’s something you earn in the locker room with the guys themselves. I want to shake every man’s hand in that locker room, look them in the eye and know them by their name. In order to receive respect, you first have to give respect. I’m big on that.”

On the part of the management, they found a lot to like about Reid. One impressive attribute is that he is 25 years old, and it’s believed his best seasons will come over his contract span.

General manager Brett Veach said, “We’re very excited to add an impact player like Justin to our roster,” 

“He’s young and has proven himself with consistent playmaking ability over the last four years. On top of that, he’s incredibly smart and physical.”

Reid confirmed he had other suitors when he became a free agent during the past week. The Chiefs tabled $31.5 million over the three seasons and to Reid a lot more.

He said, “The financial part of it does play a role, too, but when you take all of that away, you start to look at the fit and the culture and the opportunity that’s in front of you.” 

“I want to play for a championship-caliber team. I want to play in a system that I thought would fit me and would be able to highlight my strengths. When you look at the defense [defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] runs and you look at the Chiefs being in the AFC Championship Game [four] years in a row … it really felt right.

“His defense is very dynamic and I love that. He has so many different wrinkles in it: playing a two-high, switching it up and playing zone, blitzing on occasion. I would love to highlight blitzing a little bit more and add that to my game. … All of that really intrigued me.”

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