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Tyrann Mathieu
refer to caption
Mathieu in August 2016
No. 32 – Houston Texans
Position: Safety
Personal information
Born: (1992-05-13) May 13, 1992 (age 25)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 186 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school: New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine
College: LSU
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Total tackles: 307
Sacks: 4.0
Forced fumbles: 4
Pass deflections: 41
Interceptions: 11
Defensive touchdowns: 1
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Tyrann Devine Mathieu (/ˈtrən ˈmæθj/; born May 13, 1992) is an American football safety for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Louisiana State University (LSU). In college, he developed a reputation for causing turnovers, setting a Southeastern Conference (SEC) record with 11 career forced fumbles and earning the nickname, "Honey Badger". In his sophomore season, he was recognized as a consensus All-American, won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player in college football, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU football program after that season due to a violation of team rules.

After spending a year out of football in 2012, he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, reuniting him in the defensive backfield with former college teammate Patrick Peterson. As a rookie he was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. In 2015, he was invited to the Pro Bowl and earned first-team All-Pro honors.

Early years[edit]

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mathieu attended St. Augustine High School, where he played for the St. Augustine Purple Knights high school football team. He recorded 32 tackles, five interceptions, one sack, and one fumble recovery as a senior.

While living in New Orleans' Central City, Mathieu was raised by his grandparents. His biological mother was absent the majority of the time and his biological father, Darrin Hayes, has been incarcerated for murder most of his life. After his grandfather died in 1997, Mathieu was adopted by his uncle, Tyrone Mathieu, and aunt, Sheila Mathieu.[1]

Mathieu also ran track and field for St. Augustine's track team and was a member of the relay team. He was one of the state's top performers in the long jump. He had personal-best leaps of 1.93 meters in the high jump and 7.29 meters in the long jump.

Considered a four-star recruit by,[2] Mathieu was listed as the No. 13 cornerback in the nation in 2010.[3]

College career[edit]

Mathieu accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Louisiana State University, where he played for coach Les Miles' LSU Tigers football team from 2010 to 2011.

2010 season[edit]

As a true freshman in 2010, Mathieu played in all 13 games with one start. He finished the season with 59 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions. He was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the 2011 Cotton Bowl Classic after he recorded seven tackles, one tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, one sack, and one pass breakup.[4]

2011 season[edit]

At the end of the 2011 regular season, Mathieu had 77 total tackles (60 solo and 17 assists), 1.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries (2 returned for a touchdown), and 2 interceptions.[5] On special teams, Mathieu had 26 punt returns for 420 yards, with 2 returned for a touchdown.[6] On October 19, 2011, Mathieu was suspended for one game following a violation of LSU's drug policy.[7] Mathieu was named the most valuable player of the 2011 SEC Championship Game. Mathieu earned the nickname "The Honey Badger" for his tenacious ability to play extremely tough football against much larger opponents, as well as his knack for making big plays.[8] This led to him being a Heisman Trophy finalist. On December 8, 2011, Mathieu was awarded the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the year's best defensive player in college football. This marked the second straight year an LSU defensive player won the nation's top defensive honor following Patrick Peterson in 2010.

2012: Dismissal[edit]

On August 10, 2012, LSU head coach Les Miles announced that Mathieu would be dismissed from the football team due to a violation of team rules. News outlets reported that the dismissal was a result of repeated drug test failures, although Miles did not confirm those reports.[9] Mathieu had formerly expressed an interest in returning to the program for the 2013 season.[10] On August 17, 2012, Mathieu withdrew from LSU and entered a drug rehabilitation program in Houston, Texas.[11] Mathieu's withdrawal was expected to last for the entire 2012–2013 academic year. However, on September 4, 2012, Mathieu ended his withdrawal and enrolled for fall semester classes. On October 25, 2012, Mathieu and three other LSU former players were arrested on possession of marijuana.[12]

On November 29, 2012, it was announced that Mathieu would enter the NFL Draft.[13] Mathieu participated at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine on February 26, 2013. He ran a 4.50 40-yard dash, had 4 reps of 225 pounds, a 34-inch vertical, and a 117-inch broad jump.[14] He also later participated at his pro day on March 27, 2013.[15]

College career statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Tackles Sacks Pass defense Fumbles
Solo Ast Total Loss–yards No–yards Int–yards BU PD QBH Rcv–yards-TD FF
2010 LSU 13 36 23 59 8.5–45 4.5–38 2–0 7 0 1 2–13–0 5
2011 LSU 13 60 17 77 7.5–45 1.5–10 2–16 9 17 3 4–39–2 6

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 8 34 in
(1.75 m)
186 lb
(84 kg)
31 18 in
(0.79 m)
9 38 in
(0.24 m)
4.51 s 1.49 s 2.56 s 4.14 s 6.87 s 34 in
(0.86 m)
9 ft 9 in
(2.97 m)
4 reps
All values from NFL combine.[14]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

Mathieu during training camp in 2013

The Arizona Cardinals selected Mathieu in the third round (69th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was the sixth safety selected in 2013.[17] On May 23, 2013, the Arizona Cardinals signed Mathieu to a four-year, $3.05 million contract that includes $817,187 guaranteed and a signing bonus of $265,000.[18] There was a statement from Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians that Mathieu would be playing free safety.[19] Mathieu stated that he would remove himself from any association with his nickname, saying that he wants to be known as "Tyrann Mathieu" as opposed to "Honey Badger".[20] On September 8, 2013, Mathieu forced a fumble on St Louis Rams' tight end Jared Cook by knocking the ball out of his hand just before he entered the end zone, and one of his teammates recovered the football.[21] In the Week 3 loss against the New Orleans Saints, Mathieu grabbed his first career interception.[22] On December 8, Mathieu tore both his left ACL and LCL in a victory over the St. Louis Rams. On December 10, he was placed on the injured reserve, officially ending his rookie season.[23] Mathieu was named a first-team All-Pro at the slot cornerback position by Pro Football Focus after the season.[24]

On November 2, 2014, Mathieu recorded his second career interception against the Dallas Cowboys.[25] In 2014, Mathieu played 13 games and finished the year with 39 tackles, an interception, four defended passes, and a fumble recovery.

In the off-season of 2015, the Cardinals transitioned Mathieu to cornerback due to the team's lack of players at the position. On September 27, 2015, Mathieu grabbed a career-high two interceptions including his first career touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers.[26] The last time an Arizona Cardinal had two interceptions in a game was Patrick Peterson in Week 10, 2014.[27] He grabbed two more interceptions in 2015 before his season-ending injury, one in November 15 against the Seattle Seahawks and on November 29 against the 49ers.[28][29] On December 20, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Mathieu tore his right ACL after an interception, causing him to miss the final two games of the regular season in addition to the post-season.[30] Mathieu was named to his first Pro bowl after the season and was named by the Associated Press as a first-team All-Pro safety.[31][32] He was ranked 28th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[33]

On August 2, 2016, the Arizona Cardinals signed Mathieu to a five-year, $62.5 million extension that included $21.25 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $15.5 million.[34] On October 17, he picked off Geno Smith, his ninth career interception against the New York Jets.[35] Mathieu In Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers, Mathieu left the game with a shoulder injury. He was ruled out from three to six weeks.[36] He played in two of the next six games, struggling in both of the games. He was placed on injured reserve on December 23, 2016.[37]

On September 17, 2017, Mathieu picked off Jacoby Brissett in overtime in a 16–13 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The pick set the Cardinals up to win the game on a Phil Dawson field goal.[38] On November 26, Mathieu recorded his second Interception of the season in a 27-24 overtime win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.[39]

On March 14, 2018, Mathieu was released by the Cardinals after refusing to take a pay cut.[40]

Houston Texans[edit]

On March 17, 2018, Mathieu signed a one-year contract with the Houston Texans worth $7 million.[41][42]

NFL statistics[edit]

Tackles Sacks Interceptions Other
Season Team Games Solo Ast Total Sack Int Yds IntTD DefTD FFum FRec PD Sfty
2013 ARI 13 65 3 68 1.0 2 7 0 0 1 0 9 0
2014 ARI 13 35 2 37 0.0 1 9 0 0 0 1 4 0
2015 ARI 14 80 9 89 1.0 5 92 1 0 1 0 17 0
2016 ARI 10 33 2 35 1.0 1 9 0 0 1 0 4 0
2017 ARI 16 70 8 78 1.0 2 16 0 0 1 0 7 0
Career 66 283 25 308 4.0 11 133 1 0 4 1 41 0


  1. ^ Mark Schabach. "Tyrann Mathieu not running from past". 
  2. ^ Tyrann Mathieu Recruiting Profile
  3. ^ cornerbacks 2010
  4. ^ "Felix McKnight Trophy Winner — Defensive Back Tyrann Mathieu". AT&T Cotton Bowl. January 8, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Tryann Mathieu Stats". ESPN. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ Individual Punt Returning Leaders, Fox Sports, December 4, 2011. Archived October 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Brett Martel (October 19, 2011). "Tyrann Mathieu Suspended: LSU Suspends Star Cornerback For Auburn Game". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ Chris Low (October 15, 2011). "Tyrann Mathieu talks a good game". ESPN. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ Kleinpeter, Jim (10 August 2012). "LSU's Tyrann Mathieu dismissed for failed drug test, source says". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  10. ^ David Helman (August 14, 2012). "Les Miles discusses Tyrann Mathieu". ESPN. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Tyrann Mathieu in rehab center". ESPN. August 17, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Tyrann Mathieu enrolls at LSU". ESPN. September 4, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  13. ^ Joe Schad (November 29, 2012). "Tyrann Mathieu to enter NFL draft". ESPN. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Tyrann Mathieu Combine Profile". National Football League. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ Copeland, Kareem (November 29, 2012). "Tyrann Mathieu, 'Honey Badger,' eyes 2013 NFL Draft". National Football League. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Tyrann Mathieu". College Football. Sports-Reference. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (April 26, 2013). "Tyrann Mathieu drafted by Arizona Cardinals at No. 69". Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  18. ^ Garafolo, Mike (May 23, 2013). "Tyrann Mathieu gets a little extra honey in contract". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  19. ^ Mike Florio (April 26, 2013). "Mathieu will play free safety for Cardinals". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu making life-style changes". NFL AM. National Football League. May 10, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  21. ^ Van Bibber, Ryan (September 8, 2013). "The Honey Badger has a message for Jared Cook". Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  22. ^ Wilkening, Mike (September 22, 2013). "Tyrann Mathieu hauls in first regular season interception". NBC. NBCsports. Retrieved 26 September 2013. 
  23. ^ Patra, Kevin (December 9, 2013). "Arizona Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu tears ACL, LCL". NFL Enterprises LLC. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  24. ^ "2013 PFF All-Pro Team". January 6, 2014. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  25. ^ Urban, Darren (November 2, 2014). "Confident Cardinals Batter Cowboys". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  26. ^ Odegard, Kyle (September 27, 2015). "Against 49ers, The Magic Of Tyrann Mathieu". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  27. ^ "Single Game-Arizona Cardinals-Regular Season-2 Interceptions+-By Date". Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  28. ^ Marotta, Vince (2015-11-16). "How the West Was Won Week 10: Cardinals build 3-game cushion with win in Seattle". Arizona Sports. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  29. ^ Odegard, Kyle (November 29, 2015). "Defense Clamps Down Late On 49ers". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  30. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (December 21, 2015). "Tyrann Mathieu will miss the season with a torn ACL". Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  31. ^ McManaman, Bob (December 23, 2015). "Cardinals have 7 players named to the Pro Bowl". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  32. ^ Fox Sports Arizona (January 8, 2016). "Cardinals' Peterson, Mathieu named to All-Pro team". Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  33. ^ "'Top 100 Players of 2016': No. 28 Tyrann Mathieu". Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  34. ^ Wesseling, Chris (August 2, 2016). "Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals agree to 5-year extension". Retrieved December 23, 2016. 
  35. ^ Odegard, Kyle (October 17, 2016). "No Fun For Bowles Watching Cardinals Defense". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  36. ^ Smith, Michael. "Tyrann Mathieu out 3-6 weeks with shoulder injury". NBC Sports. Retrieved October 31, 2016. 
  37. ^ Urban, Darren (December 23, 2016). "Tyrann Mathieu Placed On IR". 
  38. ^ Odegard, Kyle (September 17, 2017). "Phil Dawson Finds Redemption". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  39. ^ Urban, Darren (November 26, 2017). "Cardinals Get Dramatic With Jaguars". Arizona Cardinals. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  40. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 14, 2018). "Cardinals release veteran safety Tyrann Mathieu". 
  41. ^ Florio, Mike (March 16, 2018). "Tyrann Mathieu heads to Houston on a one-year deal". 
  42. ^ "Texans feel "love" in agreement with Tyrann Mathieu". March 17, 2018. 
  43. ^

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