Arizona Cardinals fans continue to wait for the news of a contract extension for safety Tyrann Mathieu. There is nothing new on that front. However, the Minnesota Vikings inked safety Harrison Smith to a five-year contract extension that should catch the eyes of Mathieu's agent and establish some market value for him and for safety Eric Berry.
The Vikings made Smith the highest-paid safety in the NFL with a deal worth an average of $10.25 million per year, $10 million up front and nearly $29 million guaranteed.
The previous high for a contract extension for a safety was Earl Thomas' four years and $40 million. Eric Berry, currently with the franchise tag with the Kansas City Chiefs, is set to make $10.8 million in 2016, but a long-term deal has not been worked out.
What does this mean for Mathieu and Berry? It likely sets the bottom of their numbers.
It is expected the Cardinals eventually sign Mathieu to a deal that makes him the highest-paid safety, but it is not that simple because he is only a safety by label. He plays more cornerback than safety. He also has had two major knee injuries to consider, although his on-field impact is undeniable and he is a fan favorite.
Mathieu says he doesn't want to simply be labeled as a safety, but to be paid as a top defender in the league.
With the Smith contract, the topic of Mathieu's coming deal came up and Mathieu said there isn't necessarily a rush to get it done via AZCardinals.com.
"I want what is best for my team, and I want what’s best for me personally," Mathieu said. "I don’t want to be in a situation where it’s bad for both sides. I don’t think that’s fair to the Cardinals, to my teammates. The only way you win in this league is to get good players around you. You can have two or three people eating up the whole salary cap.
"I think it’s important for me to recognize that, to understand that side of it as well. But to also understand the type of player I am.
There was hope the team and Mathieu could have the deal done before the team breaks for the summer. That happens this Thursday. The players will not be back until training camp at the end of July. Will the deal happen before then? We have a couple of days to find out.