The Arizona Cardinals selected former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu in the third round, taking a gamble on a player who reportedly failed more than 10 drug tests before being kicked out of school.
Mathieu has told everyone he is clean and plans to stay that way and according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, the Cardinals are going to keep a close eye on the situation. King reports the Cardinals will randomly drug test Mathieu “as often as weekly,” an issue that could be challenged by the NFLPA.
Unless a player is in the NFL’s drug program, they are tested for recreational drugs just once per year – during the offseason. The league is the body that initiates the drug tests too, not an individual club.
King also reports that Mathieu will not receive any guaranteed bonus money in his contract. Instead, his bonus money will be divided into roster bonuses that he will have to hit in order to earn the pay days. The signing bonus for his slot is a little less than $700,000, but apparently that will be divided into much smaller chunks that will force Mathieu to remain clean to be paid.
We’ll see if this is an issue moving forward.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune