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Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu asked to take a pay cut

Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals

In the last few weeks, there is growing chatter surrounding former Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu’s long-term future with the Arizona Cardinals. With the NFL free agency period rapidly approaching, the Cardinals have been pressed into the position to assess the value of Mathieu’s contract.

This concerns a pending situation involving his contract with his $5.75 base salary this upcoming season and $8 million salary for 2019 expected to come into effect on March 14 along with $5 million bonus for this year being paid two days later. According to Gregg Rosenthal of The NFL Network, the Cardinals have reportedly asked him the 25-year-old to take a pay cut from his current deal.

Since entering the NFL, Mathieu has been a centerpiece for the Cardinals defense by providing much stability in the secondary despite suffering a pair of significant leg injuries. He is coming off another productive campaign where he recorded 78 total tackles with his first two career interceptions and a forced fumble where he was able to take the field in all 16 regular season games. However, he hasn’t played at the same level of performance that he did back in 2015 where he earned his first and only Pro Bowl selection up to this point in his career.

The main driving point for this pay cut could be to create more salary cap space to help their pursuit of Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Cardinals are expected to be one of the few serious suitors in the hunt for Cousins due to their pressing need to address their quarterback situation. The team is currently projected to have more $20 million in salary cap space at their disposal.

It will be interesting to see how these talks progress it could quickly escalate to either a new reworked contract or possibly considering parting ways with him. With the free agency period quickly coming up, this is clearly a developing situation that may have a few twists and turns ahead.