Published: Fri, March 16, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Why the team should pursue Tyrann Mathieu

Why the team should pursue Tyrann Mathieu

Mathieu did say he tried not to get caught up in the speculation that his contract could become a sticking point in staying with the team.

New defensive coordinator James Bettcher held the same position with the Cardinals from 2015-2017 where he helped the "Honey Badger" put together his finest season in the NFL. He was a first-team All-Pro as recently as 2015.

Mathieu played a full 16 games in 2017 but his play dipped considerably.

"Going into my first draft as a general manager, there's no way that I thought a player like Tyrann Mathieu should get a second chance", Keim said. The Browns save his $10.3 million salary for 2018 and a $3 million bonus but lose their best player and leader in the expansion era (1999-present), a 10-time Pro Bowler.

The Cardinals missed the playoffs the last two years, and now they'll have a new coaching staff, and so Mathieu declined the team's request that he take a pay cut.

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Mathieu played in 13 games his rookie season finishing with 68 tackles, two interceptions and one sack before a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee derailed his season in December. He has recorded at least 40 tackles, three tackles for loss, one interception, one forced fumble and one sack in all but one of his five seasons. These are some of their more recent pickups where they hope to find low-priced players and cross their fingers that they play beyond themselves.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports the Texans are "seriously interested" in free agent DB Tyrann Mathieu. That brings us back to his contract, which featured figures that required Arizona to take a leap of faith and ultimately challenged Mathieu's value.

At LSU, Mathieu was one of the most dynamic defensive players college football had known, becoming a finalist for the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore. But they simply prefer to do so when it makes financial sense.

JJ Watt and Mathieu also have a friendly history. The "Honey Badger" would be a great addition, but would ultimately cost too much for J-Rob to pull the trigger.

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