Just hours before the official start of the league year, news broke that the Cardinals were parting ways with safety/cornerback hybrid Tyrann Mathieu. The team and the player nicknamed Honey Badger had been attempting to work out a restructured deal. Arizona was on the line for roughly a $14.1 million cap hit next season. It was a figure the team and many fans felt was too high for the injury plagued player.

Mathieu had signed an extension with the Cardinals in 2016. It was a deal worth $62.5 million over the course of five years. There was also $40 million in guaranteed money. The extension came off the heels of Mathieu tearing his ACL in December of the 2015 season. His loss was noticeable as the defense struggled defending the pass during the playoffs. The Cardinals eventually lost to the Panthers in the NFC title game.

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What Comes Next

With the flurry of reported deals since the legal tampering period began, Honey Badger becomes the biggest whale available. There are a handful of teams who could use the services of the 25-year-old. One possible landing spot could be with the Giants. The Giants are looking to contend in 2018 and are making big changes on the roster. Mathieu would be a coveted asset on defense and would be reunited with his former coordinator, James Bettcher.

Another rumored caller is the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is looking to add more talent on the back-end of their defense to solidify the secondary. A playmaker with the experience like Mathieu would be a major upgrade. It would also give the Cowboys another young, star-studded player for the team to push.

We’ll have more on the departure of the Honey Badger later this week as well as a roundup of what the Cardinals have done so far in free agency. For all your free agency news, follow Full Press Coverage’s tracker here.

– Ryan Adverderada is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Cardinals. Like and follow on and Facebook.


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