Unfortunately, good things in the National Football League must come to an end in some occasions, and after failing to figure out a way to re-do his current deal, Arizona decided on Wednesday to move on from their defensive superstar with a release.
Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) celebrates his interception against the Chicago Bears during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.
Mathieu was used mostly as a free safety in Arizona, but is about as versatile as modern defensive backs come. Per OverTheCap.com, Arizona incurs an $18.6 million dead money charge over the next three seasons as a result of the move but also realizes $33.2 million in cap savings over the remainder of his contract by releasing him.
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Mathieu signed a $62.5 million deal in 2016.
Basically, it sounds like everyone in the AFC North is recruiting the Honey Badger. Mathieu's 2015 knee injury derailed the best season of his career. There's a big need in the slot (and at cornerback in general) after dealing away Damarious Randall, and Morgan Burnett - who played all over the defense for former coordinator Dom Capers - is a free agent. He suffered a torn ACL in December 2015 and landed on injured reserve a year later after dealing with a lingering shoulder problem. However, his production has been on the decline in recent years and he finished last season with one sack, two picks and seven pass breakups.
Last season was the first that Mathieu played in all 16 games as he continued to recover mentally and physically from the past injuries. Imagining the Honey Badger next to Landon Collins at New York's safety positions could be a scary sight for opposing offenses.