A report last Monday indicated that the Cardinals were nearing an extension with defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, and today Mathieu himself told Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com that the negotiations have been “smooth.” However, neither Mathieu nor general manager Steve Keim offered any sort of timeline for when a deal might finally be hammered out. Regardless, Mathieu isn’t concerning himself with positional designation as he awaits his payday.
“I just want to get paid as a top defender,” said Mathieu. “I don’t want to be slotted as a corner or a safety, because I’m not Patrick Peterson and I’m not Earl Thomas. I’m kind of different than both of those guys, but I still have the same type of impact on the game as those guys do. I just want to be paid as a top defender, and however that looks on paper, that’s what I want.”
Let’s take a look at a few more items from around the NFL…
- Given that the Bears have signed Pernell McPhee and drafted Leonard Floyd and Jonathan Bullard over the past two seasons, it was fair to wonder if Willie Young and Lamarr Houston were going to survive for the 2016 season. Young, of course, looks to be a roster lock at this point, as he’s reportedly been offered an extension by Chicago. But Houston now seems likely to make the final 53 as well, as John Mullin of CSNChicago.com writes.
- The Steelers have begun to resist the urge to restructure contracts in order to create cap space, as Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune details. After redoing 24 deals over the past five seasons, Pittsburgh hasn’t reworked a single contract this offseason, as GM Kevin Colbert & Co. have decided to stop kicking the can down the road.
- With Martavis Bryant suspended for entire 2016 campaign, the Steelers are going to have to turn to other weapons to make up for his production. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com examines which pass-catchers might be asked to step up, including Ladarius Green, Sammie Coates, Markus Wheaton, and others.
- In something of an upset, Colin Kaepernick is still on the 49ers‘ roster, and if he wants to earn the starting quarterback job, he’ll have to defeat favorite Blaine Gabbert to do so. As Kevin Lynch of SFGate.com writes, that level of competition could end up being a positive for Kaepernick.
- Though the Raiders‘ efforts to relocate to Las Vegas appear to be growing more earnest, the proposed move won’t be on the docket at the next owner’s meetings, according to Peter King of TheMMQB.com.