Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) leads the team on to the field prior to an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. The former LSU great is coming off his first National Football League season of playing the full 16 game slate - he started for Arizona in each of the games.
While there were reports that the two sides worked toward an adjustment that would have lowered Mathieu's salary-cap number, it wasn't to be, particularly since Mathieu didn't want to take a pay cut - and knew that he wouldn't have to if he ended up on the open market. However, an agreement never came to fruition, and the 25-year old defensive back is now available.
Had the Cardinals picked up the option on Mathieu's contract it would have guaranteed the defensive back $19 million over the next two seasons.
Mathieu isn't without red flags, and he'll have far more likely landing spots, but a new day has dawned, and the Packers can't be ruled out for anyone. With the amount of talent that the Cardinals have at the safety position, it made sense to move on from the veteran.
"There's many ways you could restructure a contract instead of just taking money out of my pocket", Mathieu said at the time.
Mathieu during his five seasons as a Cardinal was ubiquitous in the Phoenix community. Mathieu only appeared in 10 games the following season and finished with a career-low 35 tackles. He played a full 16-game regular season for the first time in his career a year ago, finishing with 78 tackles, 2 interceptions and 1 sack.
The New England Patriots should look into signing the LSU defender formerly known as "Honey Badger".