-- GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Defensive back Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu and the Arizona Cardinals have reached an agreement on a 5-year, $62.5 million extension that includes $40 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
His guarantee is the largest for a safety in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Mathieu has been one of the NFL's top defenders, but he also tore his right ACL with two games left last season and his left ACL during the 2013 season.
In spite of that, Arizona is stepping up to retain a player who has excelled at the NFL level. He hasn't been cleared to return to action yet, but he is expected to be within the next two weeks.
Mathieu was considered a candidate for defensive player of the year last season until the injury. He had five interceptions -- one of which led to his first career defensive touchdown -- 89 tackles and one sack. His ability to play three secondary positions increased his value to the Cardinals, who didn't need to use as many substitution packages with Mathieu on the field.
Last season, despite being listed as a safety, Mathieu played 62.3 percent of his snaps at cornerback, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Pro Football Focus even rated Mathieu as the league's best corner despite that not being his listed position.
Mathieu's deal comes as his fourth NFL season was set to begin. The Cardinals took a risk on Mathieu in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft after Mathieu missed his junior season at LSU in 2012 because was kicked off the team for failing multiple drug tests. Mathieu was arrested in October 2012 and charged for possession of marijuana.
One stipulation of the Cardinals drafting him was that he enter a drug-testing program with the team. His rookie contract included a $662,500 signing bonus, but Mathieu only received $265,000 up front and the rest of the money will come by way of annual roster bonuses.