Odell Beckham Jr. a “Standup Guy,” “Great Teammate” says Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu on Thursday gave a strong endorsement for his friend former college teammate Odell Beckham Jr. but stopped short of using his bully pulpit to advocate for the wide receiver to sign a free-agent deal with Kansas City.

“I don’t know if I’m necessarily campaigning but anytime you can add talent to the team that always benefits and helps the whole team,” Mathieu said Thursday. “Obviously just from a personal perspective, just want him in the best situation possible going forward and hoping that whatever ends up for him, it can bring out the best in him.”

Beckham became a free agent on Tuesday following his release from the Cleveland Browns, and the Chiefs are reportedly among a handful of clubs interested in his services. The Packers, Saints, Patriots and Seahawks are among other teams reportedly pursuing the 29-year-old receiver.

Mathieu was a sophomore at LSU when Beckham arrived on campus in 2011 and the pair were teammates until Mathieu’s dismissal from the Tigers in August 2012. Mathieu said he and Beckham talk and text all the time but rarely discuss football. He added that they had not discussed any potential landing spots for the free agent.

Mathieu also defended Beckham when asked about his reputation in the NFL as a difficult teammate.

“First of all I think he’s an elite wide receiver, so I think all those want the football,” Mathieu said. “But outside of that he’s always been a standup guy, he’s always been a great teammate. I can remember instances back at LSU where he did a lot of the team bonding things, having guys over, working out with guys, staying late with guys after practice, so I think most of the people that know him and played with him I think we all see him as a pretty solid teammate.”