"I love Arizona and definitely want to be here." Cards Tyrann Mathieu talks about potential free agency

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Tyrann Mathieu signs autographs at Kidtopia. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Tyrann Mathieu signs autographs at Kidtopia. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Tyrann Mathieu is at a crossroads.

The Cardinals safety is set to earn close to $19 million the next two seasons if the team picks up his option before March 14. Mathieu had a smile on his face on Saturday, signing autographs in Gilbert at Kidtopia.

"Arizona has embraced me since the day I was drafted,” said Mathieu. “I don't think I do anything special. I just try to be myself. I try to be gracious, considerate of others. As far as the people of Arizona, it's always great to be around them, to help influence them in a positive way and I'm grateful for that."

One young fan tried to give Mathieu a dollar for his autograph. Another young lady gave him a bracelet. 

He had a line fitting of fan favorite and a smile on his face, with his professional future hanging in the balance.

“I think everybody who's close to me knows where my heart is and at the end of the day that's all that really matters," said Mathieu. “It's just a business. Fitz went through it. A lot of us went through it. It's just a process and I don't think people should lean one way or another. Trust the process."

Mathieu says he’s been leaning on former Cardinals Jerraud Powers, Rashad Johnson and teammate Patrick Peterson. He even has been talking to rival DB, Richard Sherman, who was cut by the Seattle Seahawks.

“I kind of look at my life at a DB,” said Mathieu. “I'm constantly having to transition. I'm constantly having to make up ground that I've lost. I take pride in being a DB. I look for the positive and silver linings in things and try to fall forward.”

Cardinals GM Steve Keim offered a vague answer when asked about Mathieu at the NFL Scouting Combine. The 25-year-old Mathieu has played in Arizona for five seasons.

“I think you play out a lot of different scenarios. I like to play out the worst case,” joked Mathieu. “A lot of people I've talked to just say to stay positive. I'm a professional. I try to be positive. I try to crack jokes on twitter and not take it too seriously. I love Arizona and I definitely want to be here."

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