Mathieu is valuable because he plays the corner and nickel spot. Although his price tag may be high, it's rare that a young talent like the Honey Badger hits the open market.
Oakland must be sure to set aside some money for defensive end Khalil Mack, however the team did save $8.5 million against the salary cap in 2018 by cutting Sean Smith earlier this week making the signing of Mathieu fiscally feasible. New England is operating with approximately $21 million in cap space.
But he also has been plagued by injuries and only last season did Mathieu appear in all 16 games.
"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.
Most wanted NFL free agent? Arizona releases DB Tyrann Mathieu
Off the field, he was a model citizen and with his fierce style and natural charisma, was among the most popular players on the squad. He has stayed out of trouble since being drafted by the Cardinals but has missed time due to several injuries, including a torn ACL and LCL in 2013 and a torn ACL late in the 2015 season. His absence was sorely felt as the team that went 13-3 and won the NFC West faltered down the stretch, barely getting past Green Bay in the divisional round before being routed by Carolina in the NFC championship game.
Through five seasons in Arizona, Mathieu recorded 41 passes defended, 24 tackles for a loss, 11 interceptions, four sacks, and four forced fumbles.
The move by the Cardinals comes only a day after signing veteran quarterback Sam Bradford for a reported $20 million, one-year contract. 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.
Meanwhile, fans of other National Football League teams - and National Football League players themselves - began wondering where the Honey Badger could land.