However the Cardinals have continued to possess enormous positional talent, a fact that's been disguised by their 7-9 and 8-8 records over the last two seasons.
"I hope, but I've been in the league long enough to know that it's a business, and it's not always about what I want", Mathieu said of his desire to stay in Arizona on Tuesday. Mathieu joined the franchise as a third-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Following Mathieu's release, the Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim released the following statement: "I've never made a secret that Tyrann has always had a special place in my heart and always will".
Through five seasons in Arizona, Mathieu recorded 41 passes defended, 24 tackles for a loss, 11 interceptions, four sacks, and four forced fumbles. "We all wish Tyrann nothing but continued success in his career and beyond". Bruce Arians, twice an NFL Coach of the Year, suffered from health problems over the following two seasons that seemed to take a toll on the offensive guru's ability to keep the team in playoff contention.
Mathieu signed a $62.5 million deal in 2016.More news: Patrick Robinson, New Orleans Saints Agree to Four-year Deal
The Cardinals and Mathieu were involved in contract talks leading up to his release.
The "Honey Badger" is leaving the desert. Mathieu was due a guaranteed salary of $13.75 million next season.
He was asked by the Cardinals to take a pay cut on Thursday but declined.
He tore his left ACL in 2013 and his right one in 2015. There are ways to make room for a playmaker like this but will the team be willing to make such a bold move with contracts for defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap coming up next offseason? In his best season so far, back in 2015, the "Honey Badger" posted 89 combined tackles, 17 pass defends, five interceptions, a sack and a defensive touchdown.