Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/29/13
Cardinals draft pick Tyrann Mathieu admitted in his conference call with Arizona media members last Friday that there would be stipulations in his contract to keep him on the straight and narrow after an admitted marijuana problem derailed his college career at LSU and dropped him from a possible first-round pick to a third-rounder. If its a drug test on a weekly basis, thats what I have to do, he said. If its meeting with counselors, therapists and sports psychologists, those are things Im going to have to meet. It doesnt matter what they put in my contract. Im happy that they gave me the second chance. Turns out Mathieu wont be paid either if he fails to meet those expectations. Sports Illustrateds Peter King reported in his Monday Morning Quarterback column that, in addition to random drug tests as often as every week, Mathieus contract will not include any guaranteed money. Rather, Mathieu will earn bonus money in the form of roster bonuses, to ensure that the club is protected in the event that he lapses and the team chooses to cut him. Clearly, the lack of guaranteed money considerably reduces the risk the Cardinals are taking. We do wonder how a weekly drug test can be considered random. If a player knows its coming every week, or even every other week, its not random, but that may be better, too. If Mathieu knows its coming regularly, hes less likely to take the risk. Really, the only risk the Cardinals are assuming is that they might have blown a third-round pick on a player characterized as getting a second chance but one who, in reality, has been given numerous chances and failed them all. A third-round pick is supposed to be an impact player. The past five Cardinals selections in that round have been cornerback Jamell Fleming, tight end Rob Housler, receiver Andre Roberts, safety Rashad Johnson and receiver Early Doucet. If Mathieu strikes out -- even under the watchful eye of fellow LSU graduate Patrick Peterson -- team president Michael Bidwill may save a little cash, but the pick will still be viewed as a failure and a gross miscalculation by the new management and coaching regime. Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
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