clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

“Don’t Let Them Take It Back”

NFL: New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


In the week prior to the Super Bowl, I wrote an article titled “The Honey Badger Who Got Away.” Here is the link—-

But these days I am reaching a boiling point where you are concerned—-

I found this recent tweet of yours to D.J. Humphries exceptionally hypocritical and ironic.

Every time a former Cardinal teammate of yours gets a new contract or has issues with the organization, you are quick to throw jabs at the organization or to suggest that your former teammates join you in Kansas City.

“Don’t let them take it back.”

By your own admission, Tyrann, you were not quite the baller you were with the Cardinals after they made you the highest paid safety in the NFL.

I watched your interview before the Super Bowl where you said that for the two down seasons in 2016 and 2017, after you got paid, you couldn’t trust your knee and thus couldn’t play at the level that made you one of the most dynamic defensive game changers in the NFL.

While your explanation of the mental and physical struggles you had in your first year back after your second ACL injury is completely understandable—-it’s difficult to understand why those struggles would carry over to 2017—-after another off-season to get your mind and body right. We saw you bounce back with a vengeance from the first ACL tear.

But, if you recall, in 2017 you decided to break your tradition of writing your season goals and posting them at your locker—-

In 2017 it didn't seem like your body was broken—-from the get-go, it seemed that your spirit was broken.

In the “Honey Badger Who Got Away” article I took a few guesses as to why your spirit would have been broken—-but only you know the precise reasons why.

Maybe you sensed that BA was getting nudged out the door and you were pissed.

Maybe you were still miffed that after your stunningly inspirational “I don’t do this for me, I do this for y’all” pep talk on the eve of the 2015 NFC Championship game the defense went right out and laid a rancid egg.

Maybe, like some of your defensive teammates after that game, you were still wondering why BA had given the coordinator positions to his cronies instead of to more qualified candidates.

And, most of all, maybe you were fed up with having to do more of the tackling than just about anyone else, when some of your teammates weren’t taking pride in it—-or embracing the responsibility of it.

Man—-I remember a home game versus the Vikings where you made the first 4 tackles on Adrian Peterson—-and after the 4th one which shook your frame and buckled you a little at the knees—-you were looking around at your teammates like, hey, is anyone going to help me out here?

Maybe, in the end, you were disgusted—-as many of us fans were—-that “All or Nothing” was a whole lot of talk.

I imagined you feeling some or all of these emotions because after all, what did you say when you took $1M less to sign with the Houston Texans?

You said, you were happy to “play for a team that is serious about winning.”

But, for you to say to D.J. Humphries “don’t let them take it back”—-do you realize how hypocritical and ironic that statement is?

The Cardinals—-whether you want to hate them until eternity or not—-did you two huge favors. They drafted you when all 31 other teams believed you were not worth the risk in the 1st or 2nd rounds—-and despite the fact that you suffered your 2nd severe knee injury in 3 years, they ripped up your rookie contract and made you the highest paid safety in the NFL.

Do you truly understand and appreciate the risks that the Cardinals took on your behalf?

Do you understand that after two years of watching a Honey Badger imposter wearing #32, that the Cardinals had to ask your to take a pay cut—-because you weren’t earning your lucrative salary?

Do you understand that you created what is an NFL organization’s greatest fear when signing players to elite type of contracts—-that the player would “go soft”?

Do you understand that you started what now looks to be a troubling precedent for Cardinals’ draft picks whose rookie contract were ripped up in order to pay them top dollars at their position?

See—-David Johnson.

And when you saw David Johnson following in your footprints, what did you tweet to him for all the NFL world to see? The same thing you tweeted to Patrick Peterson when he was calling the Cardinals’ front office “snakes in the grass.” You summoned them to come join you in KC.

And this week you wanted to make sure that D.J. Humphries understands, as excited as he was to sign his new deal, that the Cardinals might eventually try to renege on the contract, as they did with you.

This Cardinals bashing crusade of yours, Tyrann, has become banal.

The Cardinals have a new excitement going—-and if you saw D.J.Humphries’ press conference and saw how enthusiastically he spoke of his head coach and quarterback—-it was such shame that one of the media felt compelled to ask D.J. whether landing the big contract will make him “go soft.”

Well, where do you think that concern from the Arizona media came from?

You were Steve Keim’s first draft pick he re-signed and handsomely rewarded.

David Johnson was the second.

And D.J. Humphries is now the third.

As you know, fortunately for the Cardinals, two of their highest paid players, WR Larry Fitzgerald and DE Chandler Jones have been showing the younger players what it means to play at the highest level for the love of the game and for (as you once put it)—-doing it not just “for me”—-but “for y’all.”

Many of us Cardinals’ fans were hoping you would be one of the trailblazers who would lead us to the Cardinals’ first ever hoisting of the Lombardi Trophy. I know I believed you would be one of the catalysts.

But, man, it still hurts to know you are gone, as much as it hurt in 2016 and 2017 to see you lose your Honey Badger machismo.

And now to see you dumping on the Cardinals ever chance you get, is salt in the wounds.

Some fans advise me to ignore you as if you never existed.

I can’t.

You gave me a number of some of my proudest and most exciting moments as a Cardinals’ fan. You at times reminded me of my childhood idol, acrobatic Hall of Fame safety Larry Wilson.

Believe me—-comparing you to Wilson is about the highest praise I could ever offer a football player.

But, I would ask you, to allow us Cardinals’ fans and the current Cardinals’ players to turn a new page with hope of experiencing what you do this did year at the game of all games.

You were kind to lavish praise on Chandler Jones and Budda Baker for making the Pro Bowl. They want to live the dream that you helped come true for the Kansas City Chiefs—-not in KC, but in Arizona.

Congratulations on winning your ring.

Now could you please let the Cardinals be?