ARIZONA CARDINALS

Rosenthal: Cardinals spoke with Mathieu, asked him to take pay cut

Mar 8, 2018, 5:28 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm

While at the NFL Network on Thursday, Tyrann Mathieu told NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal that the Arizona Cardinals asked him to take a pay cut.

The team spoke with Mathieu and his agent on Thursday, per Rosenthal’s conversation with Mathieu.

Mathieu appeared on NFL Network’s Total Access on Thursday. He confirmed that a conversation took place in the morning, but did not say whether or not the Cardinals asked him to take a pay cut or if he would take one.

“I think it’s different ways you can go about re-structuring your contract,” he said.

“The tough part is when someone asks you to take a pay cut and I don’t think that makes sense for a lot of players.”

Mathieu will be paid $5.75 million in base salary but has $8 million of his 2019 salary guaranteed if he’s on the Cardinals by March 14, when the new league year begins. He also has a $5 million roster bonus owed on March 16, per Spotrac.com.

“I love Arizona,” he said. “When players get in this situation, these things are completely out of our control.

“The team has a decision to make and that decision doesn’t necessarily involve me.”

By total cap hit ($14.1 million), he is the fourth-highest cap hit on the Cardinals’ roster for 2018, according to Spotrac.com.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting the pay cut would be “large” based on Mathieu’s role in the Cardinals’ new defense.

Mathieu was a game-changer in 2015, but since the 25-year-old’s two ACL tears, he has seen a noticeable dip in performance.

He signed a five-year extension with the Cardinals in 2016, following his second ACL tear in December 2015. He made first-team All-Pro and the Pro Bowl despite missing the final two games of the season because of that ACL tear.

General manager Steve Keim said at the NFL Combine they are evaluating the future of all the players on the roster, including Mathieu.

“It’s what we’re doing right now with our coaching staff is looking not only at Tyrann but every player, and see how they fit,” Keim said. “So how do they fit (with) what we’re asking them to do schematically, but where they fit from a salary standpoint — all those things moving forward.

“And there’s a lot of moving parts: What we’re potentially going to do in free agency, how that affects our cap situation. And I feel like we have a pretty good grasp on that.”

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Rosenthal: Cardinals spoke with Mathieu, asked him to take pay cut