A huge deal over three years has the Honey Badger on the move

Report: Texans lose Tyrann Mathieu to Chiefs

Honey badger is headed to Kansas City. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Texans and Tyrann Mathieu was a one year mutually beneficial relationship as he heads to Kansas City in free agency.

The Texans reportedly were ready to spend on the player known as Honey Badger but not nearly what he ended up with in Kansas City.

Mathieu signed a one-year deal with the Texans last offseason for $7 million. He would start all 16 games for the team manning the backed of the defense with Kareem Jackson, Justin Reid, and later Andre Hal.

The sixth-year safety rattled off 89 tackles good for third best on the team and tying his career high. He also had two interceptions to go along with a fumble recovery and three sacks as Mathieu was often used in the team's blitz packages. It was the first time Mathieu had more than one sack in a season.

The Texans frequently praised Mathieu for his locker room leadership as well.

"He's a guy that really meant a lot to our locker room," said Texans head coach Bill O'Brien at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I've said it time and time again, this guy came in and was there from the offseason program and then at the end of training camp was voted a team captain. I think that says a lot about the impact he had – not just as a player, he's a good football player, he's a smart football player, he's a versatile player – but also, what he meant leadership-wise in the locker room."

The departure of Mathieu leaves the Texans with Andre Hal and Justin Reid as the only safeties who have played significant snaps in the 2018 season.

Cody's Take

Deuces. His impact was overrated. With Justin Reid's emergence and Andre Hal still on the team paying a player who has likely shown his ceiling to the NFL what the Chiefs paid him wasn't good business for the Texans. They were priced out of their smartly set budget on Mathieu.

They should absolutely see what the number is for other safeties on the market. If Mathieu is worth $14 million a year then Earl Thomas is worth more than that. Adrian Amos, who is 25 a free agent after playing a ton for the Bears, is a name I would love to see the Texans chase. Bringing back Kareem Jackson and playing him only at safety isn't the worst idea ever. Jackson was one of the best players on the Texans when he was playing safety last year.

UPDATE: Kareem Jackson has signed with the Broncos.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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