Tyrann Mathieu and the Patriots need each other right now

Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu leads the team on to the field prior to an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit Sunday Oct. 11 2015

Tyrann Mathieu and the Patriots need each other right now

No matter how you analyze Tyrann Mathieu's career or his 2017 season, there's no doubting this: He was a fan favorite in the Valley.

Last year, Mathieu recorded 78 total tackles, seven pass defends, two interceptions and a sack playing in all 16 games for the Cards.

"While we all understand this is a part of the business, that certainly doesnt make it any easier", he continued.

Mathieu was expected to make $14.1 in 2018 with the Cardinals but instead, they save $4.8 million by releasing the veteran safety.

The sides reportedly had been trying to restructure a contract that would have lasted through the 2021 season.

He had signed a five-year, $62.5 million deal with $40 million guaranteed in the summer of 2016.

"We get to certain points and certain stages in our career where we start to take other peoples' opinions more than our own", Mathieu said.

Mathieu may have already rubbed Belichick the wrong way, too, considering this tweet from past year. He earned first-team All-Pro honors from ProFootballFocus.com as a slot cornerback and was named to the All-Rookie team by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Though the Honey Badger has dealt with some knee troubles in the past, he is still one of the most instinctual players at his position, a natural ballhawk and should be at full speed Week 1 for whatever team he lands on. The Pro Bowler is entering his sixth season in the National Football League, which is a rare find in free agency. A constant presence at charity events, Mathieu was also known to pass out turkeys to those in need during the Thanksgiving holiday and come Christmas time, Mathieu made door-to-door stops in person bearing presents to underprivileged children.

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