Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/26/13

Tyrann Mathieu finally went in the draft. The Honey Badger was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round — No. 69 overall — which may have been slightly higher than what most people expected. Mathiue’s stock had fallen after he was kicked off LSU’s football team for reportedly failing multiple drug tests. He spent some time in rehab and missed the entire football season. But Mathieu passed his drug tests at the combine and insists he is clean. He even said during an interview with ESPN after being picked that he would agree to weekly drug tests. Mathieu was asked by ESPN’s Trey Wingo what he discussed on the phone with the Cardinals when he was picked. He said they talked about some stipulations that might be in his contract with Arizona. “It’s going to be certain things in the contract that I have to fulfill,” Mathieu told Wingo. “I have to hold my end of the bargain up. Whether that’s weekly drug tests, I’m all for that, too. I’m ready to get back out there, I’m ready to show everybody that marijuana isn’t an issue any more. It’s not an issue. I just want to play football and help my team win games.” Mathieu was so overcome with emotion after being picked that he began to cry. He said he was happy to finally get past some of his past problems, which he describe as old news. “All the nonsense that’s been coming out the last month? That’s 7-8 months old. I’ve crossed that bridge. I haven’t failed a drug test, I haven’t been in trouble. I’m ready to play football,” Mathieu told Wingo. “Seven months ago I didn’t think I’d be in this situation. I had everything taken away from me. I kept pushing and I kept fighting. I’m just so happy that someone else had faith in me.” Mathieu was suspended a game during the 2011 football season at LSU for a violation of the school’s drug policy. He was also kicked off the team the next season for a violation of team rules. It was later reported that he failed multiple drug tests. He also eventually went to rehab for his marijuana addiction. Arizona has players with whom he is familiar already on the roster, and you have to figure his relationship with former LSU cornerback and mentor Patrick Peterson had a lot to do with the pick.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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