While Tyrann Mathieu hopes to play a big role in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals, it seems his Honey Badger past at LSU refuses to go away completely.
Earlier this month, Mathieu asked that people stop calling him by his college nickname, specifically citing the “dark time” during which it was acquired. A couple weeks later, the defensive back officially inked his deal with the Cardinals, but Mathieu isn’t necessarily entering the NFL with a clean slate.
Mathieu can be drug tested up to 10 times per month, since he enters the league under its substance-abuse program, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. Additionally, USA Today reports that Mathieu verbally agreed to regular drug tests by the Cardinals during his contract negotiations. Otherwise, there is no language in his contract that cites disciplinary action, beyond the league’s policy, should Mathieu have issues with drugs again.
However, the Cardinals have structured some bonuses in Mathieu’s contract to protect the team.
According to his agent, Mathieu signed a $3 million contract over four years — $100,000 higher than last year’s No. 69 overall pick. But the Cardinals have split up a $662,500 guaranteed bonus. Now, only $265,000 will be paid up front, while the remaining sum will be made up through roster bonuses on the last three years of Mathieu’s contract.