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Tyrann Mathieu wants to stay in Arizona forever, contract extension is team priority

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The kid is going to get paid.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

It has been reported a couple of times. The most recent report was from this weekend, when NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport reported a contract extension for Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu is an offseason priority and that he would likely end up the highest-paid safety in the league.

The ACL injury he suffered might play a factor into negotiations, especially since it is his second major knee injury in three season, but it sounds like the team is confident of his recovery and elite play.

Even better is the fact that Mathieu doesn't want to go anywhere.  "I think this is the perfect place for me," he told reporters on Monday (via AZCardinals.com). "I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life here."

Mathieu was an All-Pro this season. He is dynamic on the field. He is the heartbeat of the defense. He changes games.

He won't be cheap to keep. It might cost the Cardinals $12-$13 million a year in terms of average salary.

But there is no denying his importance to the defense and his popularity with the fans. Locking him up long term makes sense. It is also risky, considering his size, style of play and (now) his injury history. But it is what the tea, has to do.