Wife of Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill Passes Away

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The Cardinals announced today via their website the passing of Nancy Bidwill, the husband of Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill.

The team put the following on their site from Cardinals President Michael Bidwill:

“With sadness, I am passing along the news that my mother has lost her long and valiant battle with breast cancer. She passed away peacefully this morning at home surrounded by close family members.

She was blessed with a long life of 84 years and we were all blessed to know and love her, particularly my dad to whom she was married for nearly 56 years.” – Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, on the passing of his mother on Wednesday.

Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians Taken to Hospital Prior to Practice w/ Chargers

Bruce-Arians

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians wasn’t on hand for the joint practices between his team and the San Diego Chargers, and was taken to an area hospital before the practice.

A team spokesman said that Arians alerted the team’s medical staff at Qualcomm Stadium that he was not feeling well and experiencing stomach pain.

The 63-year-old missed a playoff game in 2012 with an ear infection, but had been in good health since then, and has never encountered an issue since taking over the Cardinals in 2013.

Cardinals Activate Mathieu, Bethel and Rucker off the PUP List

Frostee Rucker

The Cardinals today activated All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback Justin Bethel and defensive lineman Frostee Rucker from the physically unable to perform list.

Coach Bruce Arians had said the moves could come this week, but the three would not be able to practice right away. Instead, they would only go through walkthroughs to get “mental reps.”

The three still would have to go through individual workouts before being cleared for full practice.

Mathieu is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, his second knee operation in his three seasons in the NFL. Bethel, who could lose the starting cornerback job to rookie Brandon Williams, is coming back from foot surgery. Rucker has been dealing with a foot injury after undergoing ankle surgery in the offseason.

The Cardinals are in San Diego for two joint practices with the Chargers in advance of the teams’ preseason game Friday night.

Cardinals Expected to Bring Mathieu, Bethel and Rucker off the PUP List This Week

Tyrann Mathieu

The Cardinals likely will move three players off the physically unable to perform list this week, but that doesn’t mean they will begin practicing immediately, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.

By moving off the list, defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, cornerback Justin Bethel and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker will be able to take part in walk-through practices and get “mental reps,” coach Bruce Arians said.

Mathieu is coming back from a torn ACL. Bethel is recovering from a broken foot, and Rucker underwent ankle surgery in the offseason.

All three players worked out with an athletic trainer Sunday morning while the rest of the team practiced.

If there are no setbacks, the next steps for those players will be taking part in the individual portion of practice, then participating fully.

The Cardinals are optimistic all three will be ready for the start of the regular season.

Cardinals Coach Arians Not Happy with the ‘Loafing’ of Some Young Players

Bruce Arians

A number of young Cardinals players have drawn the attention of coach Bruce Arians, but not in a good way, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.

“I still like where we’re at as a football team, do not like where some young guys’ heads are as far as the speed of the game,” Arians said. “They won’t make our ballclub at that level they’re going at, so we’ve had some conversations.”

Asked for specifics, Arians replied: “They’re loafing, especially in special teams where they’re going to make the team. Turn that tape on and they ain’t going fast enough to make this team.”

Arians declined to reveal names but said it’s “a collective group.”

Hustling is the difference between “flipping burgers and bagging groceries or you might be here,” the coach said.

Cardinals Reward Tyrann Mathieu With $62.5 Million Contract Extension

Tyrann-Mathieu

The Arizona Cardinals signed defensive back Tyrann Mathieu to a contract extension worth $62.5 million this week, allowing them to keep their secondary, which is one of the best in the league, intact for a few more years. Upon hearing the news, Mathieu’s teammates congratulated the man many consider the heart and soul of the Cardinals defense. With a healthy Mathieu back in the lineup, the Cardinals are one of the NFL expert picks to make the Super Bowl.

Mathieu’s journey to where he is today has been a long and painful one. When the defensive back was playing at LSU, there was no denying he was one of the most talented players on the field. However, like any other young athlete, Mathieu made a few mistakes along the way.

The player known as “Honey Badger,” who started as a freshman on a talented defensive unit, enjoyed smoking marijuana a little too much and eventually got kicked off the team for failed drug tests.

Some college players in a similar position were unable to overcome their personal demons and make it to the NFL, others couldn’t because it was hard to get back in football shape, but Mathieu proved to be a different breed and continued training, waiting for an opportunity to redeem himself.

The Honey Badger’s draft stock dropped considerably because of his off-field issues, but the Cardinals took a chance on him, picking him in the third round of the 2013 draft.

Mathieu quickly proved he is one of the best defensive backs in the NFL, and finally got rewarded for his hard work by the Cardinals.

Arizona defensive tackle Calais Campbell told reporters that Mathieu is very deserving of his new contract. Campbell said while there are other players that have played well and earned a raise, Mathieu is very special.

Campbell said Mathieu is the heart and soul of the Arizona defense and makes the defense much better when he is on the field.

While Campbell has only known Mathieu for three years, people who have known him longer say his rise to becoming one of the best defensive players in the NFL has been very personal.

Kevin Minter, who played with Mathieu at LSU, said Mathieu worked hard for it and deserved it. Minter also said it has been amazing to watch Mathieu grow from the runt he was as a freshman at LSU to the Pro Bowler he has become in the NFL. Minter said that what stands out the most to him about Mathieu is watching him grow into a man.

Teammates also love the passion Mathieu displays on the field. Campbell said Mathieu is probably the most passionate player he has seen on a football field, which is interesting because he is actually a very shy person when speaking with reporters.

Campbell said Mathieu is a very different person when he is in the locker room with his teammates, and he commands the respect of all his teammates.

Campbell called Mathieu a very likable guy who is fun to be around and very charming. Despite being a fun person to be around, Mathieu takes his profession very seriously and is one of the hardest working people in the locker room.

Cardinals Come to Terms with Free Agent CB Alan Ball

Alan Ball

The Cardinals added some cornerback depth on Thursday, as the team came to terms with 31-year-old free agent Alan Ball on a deal following a workout with the team.

Ball recorded 20 tackles and five pass breakups for the Chicago Bears in 2015 after he played his first five seasons in the NFL (2007-2011) with the Dallas Cowboys and spent 2012 with the Houston Texans.

He played the following two years in Jacksonville and his best season as a pro came in 2013 when he recorded 47 total tackles, two picks and 14 passes defended.

Early word is that Ball could compete with rookie Brandon Williams for playing time.

While Ball was inked, the team announced the release of safety Tyrequek Zimmerman.

The Cardinals are on the field for preseason next week, don’t forget if you find a promo code to click it and make sure to play the odds as Arizona looks to take another step forward this season to try and reach Super Bowl LI.

Cardinals Ink DB Tyrann Mathieu to Five-Year Extension Through 2020

Tyrann Mathieu

The Cardinals have signed star defensive back Tyrann Mathieu to a five-year, $62.5 million contract extension through 2020 according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

The deal includes an astronomical $40 million in guaranteed money according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Not bad for a 2013 third-round draft pick out of LSU who many NFL executives had taken off their draft boards due to his repeated off the field problems in college.

Mathieu has developed into one of the most feared and flexible defensive backs in the game and a leading voice in the Cardinals’ locker room. 2015 was his best season yet, as he racked up five interceptions, 17 passes defended, and 80 tackles before missing the final two games and the Cardinals’ post-season run with a torn ACL.

That brings up the elephant in the room when toasting Mathieu’s success and the lucrative new deal-$40 million guaranteed is an awful lot of money for an undersized player who has suffered two torn ACLs in three NFL seasons.

Mathieu is still rehabbing the second torn ACL and is questionable for Week 1, although it appears he will be able to avoid the reserve/PUP list that would cost him at least the first eight games of the season.

Don’t forget to claim a bonus this NFL season when betting the Cardinals as they look to take the next step with their newly inked defensive star as they look to reach Super Bowl LI in February.

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