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No guaranteed money for Tyrann Mathieu? Honey Badger does care

May 01, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Tyrann Mathieu, known as the Honey Badger at Louisiana State, might end up at odds with the Arizona Cardinals over his rookie contract.
Tyrann Mathieu, known as the Honey Badger at Louisiana State, might end… (Sean Gardner / Associated…)

Tyrann Mathieu has a checkered past. The Arizona Cardinals know it and they drafted the former Louisiana State safety in the third round of last week's NFL draft anyway.

But they're not naive. The team will try to protect itself by taking such steps as frequent random drug tests and no guaranteed money in his contract.

Hold on. What was that last part again?

No guaranteed money?

Yeah, it turns out the Cardinals aren't going to be able to slip that one past Mathieu's agent, Pat Lawlor.

"Ridiculous," Lawlor told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Monday. "Not going to happen. We had no contract discussion with them."

Lawlor is said to have contacted the Cardinals later that night to discuss the situation.

Mathieu failed multiple drug tests at LSU and was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession last October. So the player known as the Honey Badger and his agent say they have no problem with random tests by the Cardinals, even if they occur as often as once a week.

But, according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, the team wants Mathieu's rookie contract to contain no guaranteed money. Instead, the 69th player picked overall will have to earn bonus money through roster bonuses.

According to the folks at Yahoo! Sports, such a move would be unprecedented in a rookie contract, at least in the last eight years.

Last year's No. 69 pick, Buffalo's T.J. Graham, got a $671,000 signing bonus. So we would assume that's the neighborhood Mathieu and Lawlor are looking at.

In the high-spending world of the NFL, that doesn't really seem like that much to pay to avoid an ugly contract dispute.

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