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Cardinals brass noncommittal on Tyrann Mathieu returning in 2018

Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals

Through his first five seasons in the league, Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu has been one of the prominent stars at his position. This had helped him earn a significant contract extension from the organization last offseason inking a five-year, $62.5 million extension that has elevated him to become one of the highest-paid players at his position.

However, the Cardinals are now in an interesting situation of having to decide whether to keep him aboard with his $5.75 base salary this upcoming season and $8 million salary for 2019 expected coming into effect on March 14 along with $5 million bonus for this year being paid two days later. With that in mind, general manager Steve Keim has sounded non-committal to Mathieu’s future with the team, according to Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports.

“We all know that he has a value and done a lot of great things in this league,” Keim said. “This year, for the first time, he’s stayed healthy.

“Again, that’s the hard part of the business, making those decisions and making sure there’s not an emotional attachment versus what’s right for the organization.”

Mathieu has proven to be one of the young stars in the NFL that is coming off the first year of his career where he played in all 16 regular-season games. Although he was able to accomplish that feat, there has yet to recapture his 2015 form in which he earned his lone Pro Bowl selection prior to suffering his second significant knee injury.

There is a strong mutual respect on both sides especially with the Cardinals taking a chance on him coming out of college despite his shaky track record off the field. He has since been everything and more for the franchise with no issues off the field and has become a complete professional on it.

All of this could inevitably lead to there possibly being some reworking of his contract in order to key him aboard while making additional moves to the roster with eyes toward freeing up more space to possibly make a stronger run at Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins.

With just under two weeks until Mathieu’s contract becomes guaranteed, there could be much activity on this front in the coming days.