Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Cardinals release 'The Honey Badger' Tyrann Mathieu

Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu during an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday Dec. 24 2017 in Glendale Ariz. The Cardinals won 23-0 Cardinals, Tyrann Mathieu working on restructured contract
Lucia Summers | 15 March, 2018, 04:25

Bettcher followed Bruce Arians to desert from Indianapolis, and Mathieu was the Cardinals third-round pick that same year.

Through five seasons in Arizona, Mathieu recorded 41 passes defended, 24 tackles for a loss, 11 interceptions, four sacks, and four forced fumbles. Mathieu was released by the Cardinals after refusing to take a pay cut this offseason.

The Cardinals reportedly were working to reach an agreement with Mathieu on a restructured deal before $18 million of the player's contract became guaranteed at the start of the league year on Wednesday afternoon, per Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper. He was scheduled to make $19 million over the next two seasons.

Oakland must be sure to set aside some money for defensive end Khalil Mack, however the team did save $8.5 million against the salary cap in 2018 by cutting Sean Smith earlier this week making the signing of Mathieu fiscally feasible. Imagining the Honey Badger next to Landon Collins at New York's safety positions could be a scary sight for opposing offenses.

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Nevertheless, Lewandowski played until the 67th minute, but failed to add to his 32 goals this season in all competitions. But he lasted just 35 minutes before being substituted.

Mathieu was used mostly as a free safety in Arizona, but is about as versatile as modern defensive backs come.

Mathieu, known as the "Honey Badger", was selected to the Pro Bowl and the NFL All-Pro team in 2015.

However the Cardinals have continued to possess vast positional talent, a fact that's been disguised by their 7-9 and 8-8 records over the last two seasons. With a deal in place to bring in free agent quarterback Sam Bradford, if they wish to make any other moves, they must redo some contracts or make some cuts.

A second ACL injury prematurely ended Mathieu's 2015 season. In 2017, Mathieu finished with 74 tackles, seven pass deflections, two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one sack.

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