Rumor: Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu a possible trade candidate?
There are few teams in the league with higher expectations for the 2018 NFL season than the Arizona Cardinals. Despite all of their drastic changes and lingering question marks, the Cardinals are confident about a potential resurgence next year.
In order to do so, Arizona will need to make some waves in the offseason to help re-tool their star-studded roster. As a result, there are rumors that safety Tyrann Mathie could be a potential trade candidate, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com
Tyrann Mathieu, S, Arizona Cardinals: No player suited up for more snaps than the Honey Badger in 2017, a remarkable achievement after he returned from his second torn ACL. That would seemingly assure his spot on the 2018 Cardinals roster, especially after an uptick in his play late in the season. But his contract and the departure of coach Bruce Arians make it a complicated decision.
Mathieu gets $19 million guaranteed over the next two years if he’s on the roster on March 14. That could inspire the Cardinals to renegotiate his contract or potentially examine the trade market for him, especially with talented safety Budda Baker waiting in the wings. I would recommend just paying Mathieu his money. Bank on him continuing to recover his explosive play another year removed from surgery. Mathieu isn’t a player who is easily replaced.
Mathieu has been heavily relied upon on the Cardinals defense over the past few seasons, and for good reason. The former Pro Bowler managed to bounce back from another devastating ACL injury to register 78 tackles, two interceptions, and seven pass deflections. Furthermore, there are very few defenders in the league who possess Mathieu’s playmaking ability.
That said, the prospect of Arizona parting ways with the “Honey Badger” seems highly unlikely. Then again, a number of notable names have already been shopped around the league such as fellow defensive back Marcus Peters with the Kansas City Chiefs. Peters is one of the most talented young corners in the league, yet he now appears to be on the trading block.
Contrary to Kansas City, though, Arizona’s changes this offseason have largely been involuntary. That means they may not be looking to lose any more of their key names than they already have. Regardless, it would be interesting to see what kind of offers a prime “Honey Badger” could field.