Tyrann Mathieu released by Arizona Cardinals: 3 best fits

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Tyrann Mathieu
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Tyrann Mathieu /

The Honey Badger will have to find a new football home, as the Arizona Cardinals have released safety Tyrann Mathieu. Here are three new teams for him.

This will certainly be a rebuilding year for the Arizona Cardinals. Quarterback Carson Palmer and head coach Bruce Arians retired. It is now the Steve Wilks and Sam Bradford era in the Valley of the Sun. We have also seen a major shakeup in the Arizona secondary, as safety Tyrann Mathieu will be released by the team, according to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer.

Known as The Honey Badger, Mathieu was a transcendent defensive back collegiately for the LSU Tigers and for a few years with the Cardinals before suffering a torn ACL in 2015. Mathieu was a Heisman finalist in 2011 and an All-Pro in Arizona in 2015. He’ll be looking for a new team entering year six in the league at 26 years old. Here are three solid fits for The Honey Badger in 2018.

Best Fits

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay has the trifecta if you will: a ton of cap space, a dire need to upgrade in the secondary and a decade-long playoff drought that needs to end some time soon. Mathieu would bring a dynamic presence to the Tampa Bay defensive backfield we haven’t seen since the Monte Kiffin Tampa 2 days. Not to say he’ll be Ronde Barber with the Buccaneers, but that’s the ceiling for him should he find work in Tampa.

2. Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders need to upgrade at free safety over aging Reggie Nelson. It took until Week 12 for the Raiders to intercept a football in 2017. New defensive coordinator Paul Guenther loves having playmakers at all levels of their defense. Mathieu would provide versatility and dynamism Oakland doesn’t have in its secondary. It’s a seamless fit, but will the Silver and Black be willing to spend top-dollar to land The Honey Badger in free agency?

Next: 2018 NFL free agency tracker

3. Green Bay Packers

Who would have ever though the Green Bay Packers would be major players in free agency? They have already landed tight end Jimmy Graham and defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. Should they lose safety Morgan Burnett to free agency, there could be a role for Mathieu in Green Bay. It’s not a seamless fit, as he and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are naturally free safeties. However, Mathieu has shown he can play multiple defensive back positions while with Arizona.