Cardinals cut Tyrann Mathieu

Tyler Owen
March 16, 2018

In one of the more surprising moves of the NFL's new year, which kicked off on Wednesday, was the Arizona Cardinals decision to cut talented safety, Tyrann Mathieu.

Despite the ACL injury, the Cardinals had faith in their safety and signed Mathieu to a five-year, $62.5 million dollar contract extension.

Mathieu was expected to make $14.1 in 2018 with the Cardinals but instead, they save $4.8 million by releasing the veteran safety. To label him as such is irrational.

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The 2014 Finals MVP was named First-Team All-NBA in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. "And we'll go from there", Popovich said. It wasn't long ago that head coach Gregg Popovich said he wouldn't be surprised if Leonard didn't return at all this season.

With free agency officially starting Wednesday afternoon, Mathieu will know if he'll be a Cardinal or if he'll be looking for a new home. Williamson spent his first four National Football League seasons with Tennessee and led the Titans in tackles in two of those years.

According to NFL.com, the Giants, Jets, Raiders, Bucs, Packers, Texans and Saints all could be in the running for Mathieu, with the two NY teams seemingly in the lead (Giants defense coordinator James Bettcher ran the Cardinals' defense from 2015 to 2017, and Jets Coach Todd Bowles held the job before him). "While we all understand this is a part of the business, that certainly doesn't make it any easier". Calais Campbell's breakout season with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017 is probably the best example of what a fresh start in the right system could do for Mathieu. When he said no, Arizona came back and asked if he'd take a $3 million pay cut. He battled back again to start 10 games in 2016 and all 16 games in 2017. He still finished with 68 tackles, nine pass deflections, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a sack and while getting named to the NFL All-Rookie Team. New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler signed a five-year, $61 million deal with the Tennessee Titans.

Last season, Mathieu played most of his snaps in the slot (696 out of 1,052), but he also spent 108 snaps close to the line of scrimmage at the linebacker level and another 175 snaps playing in a deep free safety role. "While the Honey Badger may be a little short at 5'9", his impact on the field awarded him an exuberant contract from the Cardinals just two years ago.

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