Mathieu said he and his agent spoke with the Cardinals on Thursday. He sounded open to a restructure but not a pay cut.
“But taking money out of my pocket. I don’t like how that feels,” Mathieu said.
The Cardinals owe Mathieu $18.75 million in guaranteed money if he’s on the roster the third day of the league year. He has a $14.1 million cap number each of the next two seasons, and Arizona would save $4.8 million against its cap in 2018 by making him a pre-June 1 cut and $11 million as a post-June 1 cut.
Mathieu, 25, led the league in total snaps with 1,053 in 2017, playing 99.43 percent of the Cardinals’ defensive plays. He made 74 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups last season.