Report: Cardinals offered two different pay cuts to Tyrann Mathieu

Mar 15, 2018, 3:58 PM | Updated: 6:01 pm

Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) intercepts a pass against the Chicago Bears durin...

Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) intercepts a pass against the Chicago Bears during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals reportedly offered two different pay cuts to former defensive back Tyrann Mathieu before releasing him, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

Per Breer from Mathieu, the Cardinals initially wanted $5 million of the $11 million he was due in 2018 taken out in a restructuring of his contract. When Mathieu declined the week prior to free agency, Arizona came back with a reduced offer of $3 million chopped off the $11 million.

Mathieu would reject that and his release would come after. Mathieu spoke with Breer the day of his release.

“I wasn’t playing well, I didn’t hit the ground running. And so there was noise, chatter about me and about what I can do and whether I was all the way back from the injuries. I’d listen to the radio, look at articles, they’d put that out there. The Cardinals can cut him. I was aware. So I just tried to put myself in a position where people would want me again. I thought I finished the season strong.

“I had a few years where I’d come back from injuries and play at a high level. And to do that over and over, it was poking at my confidence. That held me back, my confidence level down, and keeping me from what I was having to do.”

The guarantees in Mathieu’s five-year contract extension from 2016 amounted to $40 million, but Mathieu would only make slightly less than $22 million of that amount.

Mathieu told Breer money isn’t the lone factor in his upcoming decision of where to sign next.

“It’s not all about money for me. I want to go somewhere where I can be completely immersed in football, and it’s not too much about anything but winning. I want to be a part of winning culture, where you feel that all the time. That’s all I want.”

NFL reporter Jason La Canfora tweeted Thursday the asking price for Mathieu is $11 million a year “if they get their number,” which would be the same number Mathieu was due from the Cardinals in the upcoming season.

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