Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/24/13
When the Cardinals signed third-round pick Tyrann Mathieu on Thursday, there was much speculation that the four-year contract would include stipulations based on Mathieu's history of failed drug tests at LSU (Mathieu reportedly told NFL teams during the draft evaluation process that the number of failed tests was in the double digits). That speculation was partly based on a report that came out shortly after the draft indicating that Mathieu would receive no guaranteed moneysigning bonus but instead would have to earn his bonuses by successfully passing drug tests and staying on the roster, although his agent, Pat Lawlor, strongly denied that report. As it turned out, Mathieu did in fact receive a 265,000 signing bonus as part of his deal, an amount much smaller than the slotted bonus figure of 662,500 based on where he was drafted at No. 69 overall. However, NFL.com reported that Mathieu can earn the rest of the slotted figure -- that's an additional 397,500 -- over the remaining three years of his contract in the form of roster bonuses, which of course would only be paid if Mathieu were able to stay clean and remain with the team. According to NFL.com's Ian Rappaport, there is no specific language in Mathieu's contract with the Cardinals specifying drug test requirements or basing his compensation on passing them. So how will the Cardinals know for sure if he's staying clean? Mathieu has taken care of that issue by voluntarily entered the NFL's drug testing program, Rappaport said via Twitter. As I said on Total Access: Tyrann Mathieu enters @nfl in league's drug test program, per source. Subject to as many as 10 tests per month Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 23, 2013 Tyrann Mathieu has welcomed all drug-testing. No additional language in his contract for it. There doesn't have to be. He's in the program Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 23, 2013 For comparison, the NFL has previously stated that it conducts 10 tests per team per week during the season, which combined with frequent offseason testing results in an average of about six tests per player per year, although some players obviously receive more due to reasonable-cause testing for previous occurrences. Teams can also conduct drug tests if agreed to by the player, but since Mathieu has been entered into the NFL's intervention program, only the league -- not the Cardinals -- can test him during that time. At the press conference following his selection in the draft, Mathieu made it clear that he'd be willing to do whatever was necessary to get back on the field after more than a year away from football. 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.
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