The Arizona Cardinals and safety Tyrann Mathieu are reportedly “deep in negitiations” to make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
An ACL hasn't changed the plans: #AZCardinals are deep in negotiations for an extension for Tyrann Mathieu, soon to be highest paid safety
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 16, 2016
Rapoport added this, speaking on NFL Network’s NFL HQ Monday morning:
“They view him as one of the faces of the franchise and their community efforts,” Rapoport said, via NFL.com. “… From what I am told a new payday is expected to make him among the highest paid, if not the highest-paid safety in the NFL and don’t be surprised, if all goes well, if this is done before everyone breaks for the summer.”
Truly, Mathieu has come a long way since being kicked off LSU’s squad for failing multiple drug tests before entering the NFL. Another interesting dynamic here is that Mathieu is coming off an ACL injury, his second in three years.
This report means Mathieu is set to earn more than 10 million per year. It’s going to be interesting to see how much of the money is guaranteed, though, considering his injury history since entering the NFL in 2013. However, it’s been said he “heals like Wolverine,” by none other than Larry Fitzgerald, so perhaps the Cardinals are hedging their bets on that premise.
On the field, he’s been a force to be reckoned with, when healthy. A player who can change the direction of a game on a single play, based on his ability to create turnovers, he’s become one of the most feared secondary players in the league. He had five interceptions (including a pick-six), one sack and a forced fumble last year before being lost for the season with his knee injury.
Mathieu is expected to be fully ready for the team’s training camp.