Correlation time ($$$\tau_c$$$) is a physical property of the tissue that describes the dynamics of water molecules in their microenvironment. In this study, $$$\tau_c$$$ and T2 maps were obtained from enzymatically digested bovine samples. To evaluate the relationship between $$$\tau_c$$$and macromolecular components of cartilage, depth-wise $$$\tau_c$$$ profiles were correlated with quantitative histological measurements. The same comparison was performed for T2 data. Our results suggest that $$$\tau_c$$$ is sensitive to the laminar architecture of cartilage and to the proteoglycan content in the radial zone. $$$\tau_c$$$ provides complementary information to conventional T2 mapping.