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Arizona Cardinals players react to Tyrann Mathieu’s new contract

Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) celebrates his interception for a touchdown with teammates against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game against the, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

On Tuesday, the Arizona Cardinals and star safety Tyrann Mathieu agreed to a new contract that makes him one of the best-paid safeties in the league.

The announcement has been eagerly anticipated by Cardinals fans all season, who were eager to see the team lock Mathieu down for years. The team agreed, with GM Steve Keim saying earlier this summer that one of the goals of the offseason was to sign the Honey Badger to a long-term deal.

When the report broke Tuesday, social media immediately lit up with tweets of joy and relief that Mathieu will stay in Cardinals red. Some of his teammates posted messages about the deal.

Players from other teams also had their say over the deal.

But Mathieu had the first say over the deal. He sent out a cryptic tweet about 20 minutes before the news of his agreement broke the football internet.

Entering his fourth NFL season after being chosen in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Mathieu is coming off an injury-shortened campaign that had him in the running for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award until being sidelined in Week 15.

In 14 games last season, Mathieu tallied 89 tackles, 16 passes defensed, five interceptions, 11 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Listed as a safety, he played a lot of cornerback, too.

The Cardinals made no secret of their desire to lock up Mathieu, who was set to become a free agent following the 2016 season, to a long-term extension.

The only issue, if there was one, was that the 24-year-old has had two of his three NFL seasons cut short due to serious knee injuries. However, both Mathieu and the team are confident he will recover from his latest ailment and return to the form that led to his first Pro Bowl selection in 2015.

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