Tyrann Mathieu’s spark-plug time in Arizona was enjoyed- until the team asked the wrong question.
I remember watching the 2013 NFL draft at the stadium in our locker room lounge when I was in my junior year of college. I remember originally not wanting anything to do with Tyrann Mathieu, but when the pick was announced I instantly had a change of heart on the spot. I also got to see his very first game in the NFL, preseason week 1 @ Green Bay (which happened to be my first ever Cardinals game I got to see in person).
What would be memories for a lifetime from that game, Mathieu transformed into an absolute steal for his 3rd round draft status. Then in 2015 he hit his peak, along with the team en route to a 13-3 finish, NFC West Champs, and the #2 seed with a first round-bye in the playoffs. However, for some reason he was still in the game in the 4th quarter returning punts, where he tore his ACL. I knew right then and there that this was trouble, and now that NFC West title was bittersweet (insert the Thanos “what did it cost?” meme here).
The team would make it to the NFC Championship, where they were put down with authority by the Carolina Panthers (thanks to the Denver Broncos on stopping their title chances). Fast forwarding to after the 2017 season, he did not want to stay in Arizona. Take a peek at this:
"“[Mathieu was] asked to take a paycut in 2018 after astruggling following his second ACL injury. Mathieu declined and was released, although reports had him accepting less money to sign with Houston than what the Cards had been offering.”"
This is what just irks me. He said he wanted to get paid, but then went with less. It makes no sense, but he must’ve had the foresight to sign on with Kansas City and now has played in back-to-back Super Bowls. It’s just hard to see the best safety since Adrian Wilson go out there and have as much success as Mathieu’s had. Would Mathieu have made the plays to prevent the game from going into OT against Green Bay, or done better against the Panthers?
Sadly, we won’t know- and the honey badger STILL doesn’t care.