TEMPE, Ariz. -- As the deadline for guaranteeing $13.75 million for Tyrann Mathieu's 2018 and 2019 salary inches closer, the Honey Badger isn't convinced that he'll be a member of the Arizona Cardinals this time next year.
"I hope, but I've been in the league long enough to know that it's a business, and it's not always about what I want," Mathieu told ESPN on Tuesday.
The sum will be guaranteed if Mathieu is on the Cardinals' roster at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, when the NFL's league year officially begins. He's also due a $5 million roster bonus on Friday. The Cardinals asked Mathieu to take a pay cut, which he declined to do, and the Arizona Republic reported Tuesday that Mathieu's agent, Tom Condon, was discussing a restructure with the Cardinals.
As Mathieu's future with the Cardinals continues to be negotiated, Mathieu said he has "just tried to enjoy" the offseason.
"It's been a lot of noise," Mathieu said. "I guess at times it's kind of hard to enjoy it, with so much kind of swirling around your name. But at the end of the day, I know what kind of player I am. I know what player I will be in 2018.
"I felt I finished last season on a positive note. Definitely gained some of my confidence back, so now I have an offseason to where I strictly focus on getting better, and so I'm thankful for that."
With free agency officially starting Wednesday afternoon, Mathieu will know if he'll be a Cardinal or if he'll be looking for a new home. Either way, he understands it's part of playing in the NFL.
"I've just been trying to smile through it all and not really take anything personal," Mathieu said. "Just treat it as business."