Cards GM: No doubt we want Tyrann Mathieu long-term

The Arizona Cardinals' offseason priority appears clear: sign Tyrann Mathieu to a long-term deal.

Speaking with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Thursday general manager Steve Keim said locking down the safety is the goal.

"It's hard to say that that we'll be able to get something done for sure, but we certainly have that goal in mind and there's no doubt that this organization wants Tyrann Mathieu to be a fixture here for years," Keim said.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported in January that despite Mathieu's two ACL injuries, the team isn't shying away from locking him down long-term.

A Defensive Player of the Year candidate before suffering an ACL injury in December, the Honey Badger is a valuable chess piece for the Arizona secondary. His ability to fill the slot, take on tight ends, rush the passer and chase down running backs gives the Cardinals the freedom to mix-and-match in the back end.

When told last month he was a priority for the Cardinals, despite another knee injury, Mathieu reciprocated the love.

"That's very encouraging," he said at the time. "Obviously I love this team, I love our locker room, I love our coaching staff, upper management.

"I think this is the perfect place for me so I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life here."

There are a few interesting factors that will play into Mathieu's new contract. First, he was under-drafted in the third round -- due to off field incidents that have become insignificant -- therefore he started on a lesser deal than deserved. Second is the knee injury. While players are certainly bouncing back better from ACLs, Mathieu's injury history has to be a factor for the Cards when discussing a new deal.

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