Monday, 19 November, 2018

Tyrann Mathieu handled his release from the Cardinals in the classiest way

Tyrann Mathieu had some great moments in his five seasons with the Cardinals. | Ross D. Franklin  AP Tyrann Mathieu had some great moments in his five seasons with the Cardinals. | Ross D. Franklin AP
Eugene Bates | 16 March, 2018, 05:06

It was a move motivated by money.

Mathieu was due for $18.75 million of his contract to be guaranteed when the league year began Wednesday afternoon. He was also set to count for $14.1 million against the salary cap over each of the next three seasons, per Over the Cap.

The Arizona Cardinals and free agent defensive back Tyrann Mathieu are making "positive strides" towards a new deal, according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers.

Though the Giants would have to get creative to find a way to make the finances work.

Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) is pulled away from San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Trent Taylor (81) after a tackle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. He was released by the Cardinals after he refused to take a pay cut upon the team's request.

Clearly, this is a financial decision for Arizona, which saw Mathieu rise as a productive member of the franchise's secondary for multiple seasons. Plus, Todd Bowles is said to love Mathieu, not only as a player, but as a person.

Green spent the past seven seasons with the Broncos, starting all 16 games last season and winning a Super Bowl ring in February 2016.

At least one player is coming back. In his best season so far, back in 2015, the "Honey Badger" posted 89 combined tackles, 17 pass defends, five interceptions, a sack and a defensive touchdown. He had the most snaps from the slot than any safety in the league a year ago, which means they want him in the box.

But, as it's been for many seasons now, the Cowboys seem content to sit on their hands during the free agency frenzy. He had two interceptions last season.

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).

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