Mathieu is still a useful player, but after multiple ACL tears, he's probably going to spend the rest of his career primarily as a free safety, which is a less valuable position than the hybrid cornerback/free safety role he played at his best. While I'm guessing the future Hall of Fame wideout could take to just about any position he set his mind to conquer, it seems exceedingly likely the Cardinals will add at least one veteran quarterback this offseason.Interception totals like the five picks Mathieu racked up in 2015 tend to be random from year to year, but if he has another stat-heavy season, the Cards could always give Mathieu a raise again down the line.2. Obviously, the Cardinals should take a run at Cousins. At the same time, though, it's difficult to see why Cousins would choose Arizona over teams closer to competing for a Super Bowl (Jaguars and Vikings), teams with a better offensive line (Bills) or teams that can offer more money (just about all of them).Teams are so desperate for pass-rushers that they're willing to throw eight-digit salaries at guys with one year of success; look at Nick Perry, who wasn't worth a fifth-year option in Green Bay, returned on a one-year deal and then picked up .9 million over three years after an 11-sack season in 2016.Golden's production in 2016 didn't look like a fluke on film at the time, so the Cardinals find themselves in a difficult spot.
It could trade for a player in need of a fresh start, like Eli Apple of the Giants.
The big question, then, is whether the Cardinals try to do something about Tyrann Mathieu's deal. Here's everything to know.• Barnwell's free agency & trade grades » • Signings, analysis for all 32 teams » • Ranking top 100 NFL free agents » • Players who landed in perfect spots » • Highest-paid players at every position » • Who really got best free-agent deals?
The former LSU star just completed his first 16-game season as a pro, but he has really played only one season at a Pro Bowl level, and that was in 2015, which ended with his second ACL tear. » • Biggest remaining need for all 32 » • Are Vikings NFC fave with Cousins?
In most cases, pass-rushers are going to be more valuable than running backs, but the presence of Chandler Jones makes Johnson the more pressing need of the two to re-sign. Johnson has Le'Veon Bell's skill set, and in 2016, he was more productive than Ezekiel Elliott while running behind a far worse offensive line.
It's also his only season at that level, although Johnson did average 131 yards from scrimmage in the final five games of the 2015 season.