Tyrann Mathieu
Tyrann Mathieu will now hit the open market at the age of 25 after he was released by the Arizona Cardinals (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals asked Tyrann Mathieu to take a pay cut. Oddly enough, the Cardinals had $20 million to send over to Sam Bradford despite the fact that he’s never healthy. With that giant slap in the face, can anyone blame Mathieu for not taking a pay cut? After he declined, the Cardinals decided to cut ties with the talented defensive back.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports was the first to report the news:

Mathieu inked a large extension following the 2016 season when the two parties came to an agreement on a deal worth five-years $62.5 million. The team was unwilling to carry that $14.1 million cap hit for the upcoming season. The Honey Badger tore his ACL in 2016 but played a full 16 game slate in 2017. He didn’t put up the gaudy numbers one would expect but sometimes it takes to recover from a knee injury. Mathieu, 25, has 11 career interceptions in his short NFL career.

The release comes as a shock just because of player of this caliber doesn’t hit the market too often. Eric Reid, Morgan Burnett, Tre Boston, Kenny Vaccaro, and Tyvon Branch make up the rest of the available safeties on the market. There’s no chance that anyone with half a brain would take those options over the versatile Honey Badger that can also play the nickel corner spot at a very high level.

Arizona paying Sam Bradford $20 million and then paying Mike Glennon a pretty penny to be his backup probably ended Mathieu’s tenure with the red birds. Pretty crazy to think that two horrendous quarterbacks that also struggle with health concerns pushed out one of the best defensive backs in the entire NFL.