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Lack of a true position may complicate Tyrann Mathieu negotiations


The Cardinals list Tyrann Mathieu as a safety, but he does a lot more than that. Most of the time, he’s a cornerback. Sometimes, he a strong safety. Least of all, he’s a free safety.

Ultimately, he’s one of the most dynamic and productive defensive weapons in football, a guy with incredible physical gifts, the brain power to use them to the fullest extent, and an uncanny ability to communicate candidly and frankly but without coming off as arrogant or brash.

Mathieu paid a visit to Thursday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, and he applied that same degree of honesty to the assessment of his contractual status with the Cardinals.

“I truly believe deep down in my heart that something will get done,” Mathieu said regarding his talks with the team. “It’s not one of those things that’s easy. It’s going to take a little bit of time. I don’t necessarily have a true position, so there’s different things that go into it.”

He realizes that, because he’s listed as a safety (which had a franchise tender of $10.8 million in 2016) but plays much more cornerback (which had a franchise tender of $13.9 million in 2016), putting a value on him becomes harder, due to the $3 million difference in the starting point based on the tag.

“It’s gonna be kind of a wrestling match but at the end of the day as long as we understand it’s a business and as long as we take care of our relationships I think it’ll be all right,” Mathieu said, nailing perfectly the balance that needs to be struck when two sides that want to do business together may have different opinions on precisely how business should be done. “But like I said I’m not really focused on the contract side of things it’s more about me getting healthy and really trying to dominate next year.”

Getting healthy after suffering a torn ACL in December presents the most immediate impediment to getting a deal done. But Mathieu has no concerns about that.

‘It’s going so well,” Mathieu said. “I, honest to God, can’t complain. Just going to work every day, just putting my head down and trying to put my best foot forward. I’m really looking forward to this season, and I know that I’ll be back. I’ll be 100 percent and I really don’t wanna rush this thing. I really wanna take my time and really come back and be all that I can be.”<

There are few guys in football I’d bet against. Mathieu is the last one currently playing that I’d bet against. He’s come too far to do anything but return to full strength, and to ultimately get the kind of unique and special contract that best reflects his unique and special skills.

As the first few seconds of the video below demonstrate, however, Mathieu’s unique and special skills possibly don’t extend to golf.

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19 Responses to “Lack of a true position may complicate Tyrann Mathieu negotiations”
  1. troy43mvp says: Mar 17, 2016 1:47 PM

    He should just be listed as paid$!$!

  2. jag1959 says: Mar 17, 2016 1:55 PM

    Dude can flat out ball. If he is healthy just pay the man

  3. kurdishpats1 says: Mar 17, 2016 1:55 PM

    My generations Troy Polamalu.

  4. slingdingblog says: Mar 17, 2016 1:59 PM

    There’s the Honey Badger’s attitude towards life and football…. and then there’s Johnny Manziel. Night and day IMO

  5. granadafan says: Mar 17, 2016 1:59 PM

    If he’s playing more than one position, then he should clearly get more than the lowest tender number.

  6. metspeed21 says: Mar 17, 2016 2:02 PM

    Leon McFadden . . . Ugh

  7. steelerben says: Mar 17, 2016 2:10 PM

    Raise your hand if you thought this kid would turn out this great after being kicked out of LSU and his draft stock dropping like a stone. Be honest.

  8. breesynbigeasy says: Mar 17, 2016 2:11 PM

    I’m not a Cardinals fan in any way.

    I’ll take HoneyBadger over ANY defensive player at ANY position in the entire NFL.

    Straight up game changer. Dude is incredible.

  9. TS Johnson says: Mar 17, 2016 2:11 PM

    Split the difference?

  10. ttommytom says: Mar 17, 2016 2:14 PM

    Cards would be foolish to play hardball with him. Their D was not the same without him.

    He is a difference maker that other teams will spend tons of money, draft picks etc trying to emulate. Special player.

  11. bigsmarty says: Mar 17, 2016 2:14 PM

    This seems like too simple of an issue to be a hindrance.

    If he plays 80% of snaps at corner then give him 80% corner money and 20% safety money.

    80% of 13m = 10.4m
    20% of 10m = 2m

    Pay him 12.4m.

  12. phillyb60 says: Mar 17, 2016 2:16 PM

    Dude is not only the definition of a Baller, but also a inspiration for guys like Josh Gordon, M.Bryant on turning their lives around and making the most outve it. He will end up getting a deal done with Arz, they’ll probly split the diff between the 10-13Mil@like 11.5/12Mil&hes worth every penny. Was sad to see him go down late in the blowout Vrs my Eagles, but he’ll be back.
    GoodLuck to him&his Family

  13. phillyb60 says: Mar 17, 2016 2:20 PM

    If you think abt the 180° turnaround he’s made in his life, w college teammate Pat Pete there in Arz+Guys like Fitz,Carson, Calias ect may be that’s the Best spot for Manziel to land as Carsons Backup..
    Structured environment, Vet leadership to keep him in line, he can learn the position from Carson&B.A is great with Young QB’s. Then who knows when Carson is done,
    Johnny just might be ready to step in and prove a lot of ppl wrong. Low Risk

  14. 6250claimer says: Mar 17, 2016 2:21 PM

    Keim & Mike Bidwill will take care of him, he’s not going anywhere. MARK IT!

  15. tvguy22 says: Mar 17, 2016 2:27 PM

    Jimmy Graham nods his head in agreement.

  16. rolltide510 says: Mar 17, 2016 2:35 PM

    I thought there was the Terrell Suggs precedent for situations like this where you just count the snaps and do some math?

  17. pfatalbert says: Mar 17, 2016 3:16 PM

    Manziel to the Cardinals?! You’re crazy. He’s not a Bruce Arians-type QB at all.

  18. clssylssy says: Mar 17, 2016 3:47 PM

    Oh geez…here we go again singing the Jimmy Graham song, same situation, different day. The league needs to base compensation on merit, contribution to the team’s success, & professional growth irregardless of some antiquated caste system.
    As a Cards fan, I have no doubt Keim/AriansBidwell will take care of the Badger…the fans love him!

  19. boston444 says: Mar 17, 2016 4:49 PM

    If I were him, I would settle for no less than what Janoris Jenkins receiver from the Giants. I’d pin his number at around 12-13 million annually given that he plays a lot of corner and he should hold firm on that because he’s arguably worth more given the ever-rising salary cap

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