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Mathieu in August 2016
May 13, 1992 |
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Height:||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight:||186 lb (84 kg)|
|High school:||New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine|
|NFL Draft:||2013 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2017|
Tyrann Devine Mathieu (/ /; born May 13, 1992) is an American football safety for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Louisiana State University (LSU). In college, he developed a reputation for causing turnovers, setting a Southeastern Conference (SEC) record with 11 career forced fumbles and earning the nickname, "Honey Badger". In his sophomore season, he was recognized as a consensus All-American, won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in college football, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU football program after that season due to a violation of team rules.
After spending a year out of football in 2012, he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, reuniting him in the defensive backfield with former college teammate Patrick Peterson. As a rookie he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. In 2015, he was invited to the Pro Bowl and earned first-team All-Pro honors.
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mathieu attended St. Augustine High School, where he played for the St. Augustine Purple Knights high school football team. He recorded 32 tackles, five interceptions, one sack, and one fumble recovery as a senior.
While living in New Orleans' Central City, Mathieu was raised by his grandparents. His biological mother was absent the majority of the time and his biological father, Darrin Hayes, has been incarcerated for murder most of his life. After his grandfather died in 1997, Mathieu was adopted by his uncle, Tyrone Mathieu, and aunt, Sheila Mathieu.
Mathieu also ran track and field for St. Augustine's track team and was a member of the relay team. He was one of the state's top performers in the long jump. He had personal-best leaps of 1.93 meters in the high jump and 7.29 meters in the long jump.
As a true freshman in 2010, Mathieu played in all 13 games with one start. He finished the season with 59 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions. He was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the 2011 Cotton Bowl Classic after he recorded seven tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, one sack, and one pass breakup.
At the end of the 2011 regular season, Mathieu had 77 total tackles (60 solo and 17 assists), 1.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries (2 returned for a touchdown), and 2 interceptions. On special teams, Mathieu had 26 punt returns for 420 yards, with 2 returned for a touchdown. On October 19, 2011, Mathieu was suspended for one game following a violation of LSU's drug policy. Mathieu was named the most valuable player of the 2011 SEC Championship Game. Mathieu earned the nickname "The Honey Badger" for his tenacious ability to play extremely tough football against much larger opponents, as well as his knack for making big plays. This led to him being a Heisman Trophy finalist. On December 8, 2011, Mathieu was awarded the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the year's best defensive player in college football. This marked the second straight year an LSU defensive player won the nation's top defensive honor following Patrick Peterson in 2010.
On August 10, 2012, LSU head coach Les Miles announced that Mathieu would be dismissed from the football team due to a violation of team rules. News outlets reported that the dismissal was a result of repeated drug test failures, although Miles did not confirm those reports. Mathieu had formerly expressed an interest in returning to the program for the 2013 season. On August 17, 2012, Mathieu withdrew from LSU and entered a drug rehabilitation program in Houston, Texas. Mathieu's withdrawal was expected to last for the entire 2012–2013 academic year. However, on September 4, 2012, Mathieu ended his withdrawal and enrolled for fall semester classes. On October 25, 2012, Mathieu and three other LSU former players were arrested on possession of marijuana.
On November 29, 2012, it was announced that Mathieu would enter the NFL Draft. Mathieu participated at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine on February 26, 2013. He ran a 4.50 40-yard dash, had 4 reps of 225 pounds, a 34-inch vertical, and a 117-inch broad jump. He also later participated at his pro day on March 27, 2013.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 8 3⁄4 in
|31 1⁄8 in
|9 3⁄8 in
|4.51 s||1.49 s||2.56 s||4.14 s||6.87 s||34 in
|9 ft 9 in
|All values from NFL combine.|
The Arizona Cardinals selected Mathieu in the third round (69th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the sixth safety selected in 2013. On May 23, 2013, the Arizona Cardinals signed Mathieu to a four-year, $3.05 million contract that includes $817,187 guaranteed and a signing bonus of $265,000.
There was a statement from Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians that Mathieu would be playing free safety. Mathieu stated that he would remove himself from any association with his nickname, saying that he wants to be known as "Tyrann Mathieu" as opposed to "Honey Badger".
In a Week 1 loss to the St. Louis Rams, Mathieu forced a fumble on tight end Jared Cook by knocking the ball out of his hand just before he entered the end zone, and one of his teammates recovered the football. In a Week 2 win against the Lions, Mathieu made the game winning tackle when he stopped Nate Burleson short on 4th and 4. In the Week 3 loss against the New Orleans Saints, Mathieu intercepted a Drew Brees endzone pass for his first career interception. On December 8, Mathieu tore both his left ACL and LCL in a victory over the St. Louis Rams. On December 10, he was placed on the injured reserve, officially ending his rookie season. Mathieu was named a first-team All-Pro at the slot cornerback position by Pro Football Focus after the season.
In 2014, Mathieu played 13 games and finished the year with 39 tackles, an interception, four defended passes, and a fumble recovery.
In the offseason of 2015, the Cardinals transitioned Mathieu to cornerback due to the team's lack of players at the position. On December 20, 2015 against the Philadelphia Eagles Mathieu tore his right ACL after an interception, causing him to miss the final two games of the regular season in addition to the post-season. Mathieu was named to his first Pro bowl after the season and was named by the Associated Press as a first-team All-Pro safety. He was ranked 28th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
On August 2, 2016, the Arizona Cardinals signed Mathieu to a five-year, $62.5 million extension that included $21.25 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $15.5 million. In Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers, Mathieu left the game with a shoulder injury. He was ruled out from three to six weeks. He played in two of the next six games, struggling in both of the games. He was placed on injured reserve on December 23, 2016.
On September 17, 2017, in Week 2, Mathieu recorded an interception on quarterback Jacoby Brissett in the overtime period of the 16–13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The pick set the Cardinals up to win the game on a Phil Dawson field goal.
On March 14, 2018, Mathieu was released by the Cardinals after refusing to take a pay cut.