The Arizona Cardinals will be releasing defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. Fox's Jay Glazer first reported the news and the team quickly confirmed it.
“I’ve never made a secret that Tyrann has always had a special place in my heart and always will," Cardinals GM Steve Keim said in a statement.
The team and Mathieu's agent, Tom Condon, have been speaking for weeks about reworking his deal to keep him in Arizona, but it appears the two sides were too far apart.
A few deadlines were closing in with Mathieu's contract. He was due $13.75 million in guaranteed salary for 2018 and 2019 had he been on the Cardinals' roster at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, and Mathieu would have been due a $5 million roster bonus on Friday.
The Cardinals wanted Mathieu to take a pay cut, which he declined. Now the 25-year-old safety (he turns 26 in May) hits the market following a down season in which he was coming back from a torn ACL. He still managed to play all 16 games and intercept two passes, and former head coach Bruce Arians estimated that Mathieu was "96 percent" healthy last December.
It's expected that a lot of DB-needy teams suddenly will jump in for his services, as players his age and skill level rarely hit the market. This was a financial move without question.