KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu signed a deal after a long free agency without a deal.

In an interview on the Rich Eisen Show, the three-time All-Pro said he held out hope to come back to Kansas City.

“I always held out hope,” Mathieu said. “We won a lot of games the last three years. I always felt like I was a productive player, really played some of my best ball those three years. I was hoping that I would possibly come back, but that’s a two-way street. All-in-all, it worked itself out. The things I’ve accomplished with the chiefs, people can never take away.”

Eisen, along with fans around the league, were surprised on how long it took the Honey Badger to find a new home.

When the free agency window opened, Mathieu himself expected to have several suitors calling for his services. When that didn’t happen, he decided to let it go.

“After that reality check, I just told myself I’m not gonna worry about it, I’m not gonna stress about it,” Mathieu said. “I was just trying to spend as much time with the family as possible, man. Obviously, headed into free agency, it definitely wasn’t the rollout that I expected. I was kinda disappointed in that, but I think nevertheless, it worked itself out and I’m really happy where I ended up.”

The New Orleans native and NFL veteran joins a new team that will have a first-year head coach, and a quarterback coming off an injury, but joins a top-five defense led by defensive end Cameron Jordan.