The Arizona Cardinals, who selected former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu with the 69th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, may have to wait to see Mathieu hit field because he is unwilling to sign a deal without guaranteed money.
According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated on Monday, the Cardinals are working on language in Mathieu’s rookie contract that will allow them to randomly drug test him, potentially on a weekly basis. King also wrote that Mathieu’s rookie contract may not include any guaranteed money.
Mathieu, who was the recipient of the 2011 Chuck Bednarik Award given to the top defensive player in college football, missed the entire 2012 season after failing multiple drug tests at LSU. After being kicked off the team, he was arrested in October for drug possession.
Patrick Lawlor, Mathieu’s agent, quickly disputed the accuracy of the report written by King. Lawlor told Ian Rapport of NFL.com that the defensive back is unwilling to sign any deal without guaranteed money, but Mathieu will agree to weekly drug testing as part of his contract.
“Ridiculous. Not gonna happen,” Lawlor said. “We had no contract discussion with them.”
Since the Cardinals selected Mathieu with the 69th pick, his signing bonus will be in the range of $671,000. Last year, the Buffalo Bills selected wide receiver T.J. Graham with No. 69 overall pick and signed him to a four-year contract with a $671,000 bonus.
“I’m not naive about this,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told King on Sunday. “I know the risk. But the risk to reward was enticing. His passion for the games is off the charts.”
After the language and, more importantly, the money is agreed upon, Mathieu will be inserted to the Cardinals secondary. He will go from a cornerback to a free safety. He will play alongside former teammate and friend Patrick Peterson.