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Five Plays on Why the Arizona Cardinals Had to Pay Tyrann Mathieu

The Arizona Cardinals paid Tyrann Mathieu and there was a reason why.

The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have locked up Tyrann Mathieu for the next six seasons, as his new extension will keep him in Arizona through 2021.

While all fans are excited about the idea of Tyrann Mathieu playing his prime in Arizona, there are five football reason why I am excited to see Tyrann Mathieu stay in Arizona throughout his prime.

Here are five plays that may not be his "best" plays, but show Mathieu's versatility and why he is so valuable in Arizona.

While there are plenty of plays to show Mathieu's ability to blitz, I love this play because it was an end a round for a wide receiver, and he's able to adjust on the fly and make the play.

In this play I didn't do a great job of capturing the whole play, but you can see at the end, Mathieu at 5'10" matches up with 6'5" Gary Barnidge, and wins the jump ball battle.  There is never a mismatch with Mathieu because he wins the ball more than any DB I can remember.

Another Mathieu staple is simply his ability to tackle in the open field.  The larger Barnidge again takes a quick pass at the line of scrimmage and Mathieu lets him go nowhere.

Another play with Mathieu blitzing, we see Mathieu's ability to take on bigger, stronger players, this one in Adrian Peterson, chasing him down from the backside, climbing him like a tree and bringing him down.

Finally, another "mismatch" with Zach Ertz, and this was never a mismatch.  Ertz has position and size, but that doesn't matter when Mathieu is in coverage.  He has the ability to make any play on the field, which is what makes him special.

It also makes him more than worth his contract.