It's been a few weeks since Tyrann Mathieu left the Cardinals, but Thursday, he wrote a goodbye letter to Arizona in The Players' Tribune. He made mention of how hard it was to have so many defensive backs drafted in front of him in 2013. He said thanks to many of his former teammates, particularly former safety Rashad Johnson -- who took Mathieu under his wing despite the reality that Mathieu was eventually going to supplant Johnson in the starting lineup.
He said thanks to Patrick Peterson, of course.
"Seeing the rumors and speculation he could leave, I was doing my best to just sweep it under the rug," Peterson said. "I'm quite sure he was trying to do the same thing. It's very tough seeing a brother leave and go on to a different team. But I know he'll make the best of his opportunity. I tell him all the time, I love to see him with his back against the wall."
Mathieu also made clear that, while he was relishing this fresh start, his time in Arizona meant a lot to him. "No matter what happens next, I'm always going to treasure my memories of looking up into the stands in Glendale and seeing all the fans rocking blonde mohawks and a single eye black. Through all the wins, losses and injuries, you guys gave me strength.
When I first got here, I was just a kid who loved football, but didn't understand much else about life. Today, I'm a man who understands how much you can offer the world if you give a little of yourself. Arizona did that.
So to every Cardinals fan who has taken an interest in me over the past five years, thank you. Thank you so much for accepting me and embracing me, not just as Honey Badger, but as Tyrann."