Mathieu is a modern-day hybrid defender with rare versatility and playmaking skills. Last season, Mathieu played 62 percent of his total snaps in the slot, 21 percent at linebacker, 12 percent at safety and 5 percent outside of the numbers at cornerback. He’s everywhere. And he produces too, recording 89 tackles last season along with five picks and eight passes broken up. This guy erases offensive game plans.
Mathieu was playing at a Defensive Player of the Year-level last year before his season ended with a torn right ACL in Week 15 against the Eagles. The knee injury is the second one of his young NFL career, as he tore his left ACL and MCL during his rookie season in 2013.
Based on his dynamic play and personality — as well as leadership — the Cardinals extended Mathieu’s contract in early August.
Mathieu has not seen any playing time in the preseason, but he was cleared to play in the preseason finale against the Denver Broncos. It is not known whether or not he will play in that game, or if the Cardinals will just save him until the regular season opener against the New England Patriots.