Raiders Free Agent Watch: Cardinals release FS/SS Tyrann Mathieu

Hope Soto
March 16, 2018

Arizona had until today to decide whether they wanted to pick up the option for Mathieu guaranteeing the ball-hawking safety $19 million over the next two seasons. Houston already made a splash by poaching Aaron Colvin from Jacksonville and can go for the jugular by reeling in Mathieu.

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.

While it's unclear who team managers will sign to replace Mathieu, up-and-coming player Budda Baker will likely steal the spotlight in the coming season. Mathieu is playing an underneath zone and does a fantastic job of reading Blake Bortles to turn his poor decision into an interception. Not to say he'll be Ronde Barber with the Buccaneers, but that's the ceiling for him should he find work in Tampa. "What we are potentially doing in free agency, how it affects the cap, and I feel we have a pretty good grasp on that". Here he beats running back Carlos Hyde for the sack. He has 307 tackles and 11 interceptions for his career. 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. He allowed a rating of 130.2 in 2016 and 91.6 last season.

Sure some people see it as the Cardinals getting quarterback Sam Bradford in place of Mathieu.

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It's a similar story on this play against Adam Humphries. But considering he's only 25, Mathieu is probably looking for a deal in the three-year, $35 million range.

Adding a player like Mathieu to a defense with several Pro-Bowl caliber players is extremely enticing, and come to think of it, more than possible. The Pats are in the market for a slot corner.

But let's pretend for just a second that the Panthers can afford to take a swing at one of the league's top young safeties.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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