Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Woodson comparison is an interesting one if only because the future Hall of Famer began his career as a cornerback but transitioned to safety as he got older, playing both positions with aplomb. At 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds Woodson had excellent size, whereas Mathieu’s 5-foot-9, 186-pound frame puts him on the small side for an NFL safety. Though Mathieu’s offseason will be spent rehabbing from a second knee surgery in three NFL seasons, Cardinals GM Steve Keim has made it very clear locking the safety up with a long-term contract extension is a priority, since the organization views the former third-round pick as one of its core players and a face of the franchise.At just 23 years old, if he can stay healthy Mathieu should have plenty of top-tier football ahead of him, and that’s why NFL.com writer Elliot Harrison put the former LSU Tiger on his All-Under-25 Team. Safety: Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona CardinalsSome league observers had Mathieu as their Defensive Player of the Year before he went down in that Sunday night game in Philly. The “Honey Badger” is the new Charles Woodson — that rare player who can do so many things well. Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher can move him around like the queen on the chessboard. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu is tackled by Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham after he intercepted a pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories At this point there’s little doubt Tyrann Mathieu’s 2015 season cemented his status as one of the NFL’s premier defensive players.Though he missed the team’s final two regular season games and subsequent playoff matchups with a torn ACL, he finished with 89 total tackles, one sack, five interceptions, 16 passes defensed and one forced fumble.Mathieu was a terror all over the field, as the third-year pro became the type of player offenses had to game plan for. However, no one would argue that Mathieu plays larger than his size, and his production certainly matches Woodson’s.As for Bettcher being able to move Mathieu around the field like a queen on a chessboard, no doubt Mathieu’s versatility is part of what makes him so impactful.