Tyrann Mathieu concluded his troubled college career by being kicked out of LSU, but the third-round draft pick from the Arizona Cardinals is fighting against a contract with no guaranteed money offered by his wary new yeam.
The Cardinals are looking to hedge their bets in picking the sensational but troubled safety. They reportedly want continued drug tests so Mathieu proves he is no longer using drugs, the reason he was kicked out of LSU. But the team is also asking for an unprecedented point in his rookie contract — no guaranteed money.
That is allowed under the collective bargaining agreement but doesn’t appear to have been done before. The Yahoo! sports blog Shutdown Corner looked at every rookie contract dating back to 2000 and found no instance of one without guaranteed money.
Mathieu’s agent, Patrick Lawlor, said he wouldn’t agreed to those terms. “Ridiculous. Not gonna happen,” Lawlor told the NFL Network. “We had no contract discussion with them.”
Other teams have tried to offer more contract stipulations to high-risk players. Last year, the St. Louis Rams tried to split the signing bonus of cornerback Janoris Jenkins into roster bonuses, but the team ultimately relented. The Patriots also gave tight end Aaron Hernandez a contract light on guaranteed money after the tight end failed some drug tests while in college.
Shutdown Corner calculated that as the No. 69 pick, Tyrann Mathieu should get a signing bonus close to $671,000. While Mathieu will likely have to give in to continued drug testing for his career, the safety will likely win negotiations on the signing bonus, Brian McIntyre writes.
The issue likely won’t be too hard to resolve, NFL.com reported. After a checkered college career, Tyrann Mathieu won’t want to start off his NFL career with a long contract standoff. And the Cardinals won’t want to add more problems to what is viewed as a risky selection.