Cards' Mathieu to get weekly roster bonus in place of guaranteed money

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    The Cardinals say: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

    When Arizona took Mathieu early in the third round, I immediately thought that was the kind of move other teams in the NFC West would have tried. Seattle went the risky route with Bruce Irvin in the first round last year (and took cornerback Tharold Simon two days after he was arrested this year). St. Louis -- Janoris Jenkins last year, Alec Ogletree this year -- doesn't flinch at taking checkered-past guys. Mathieu was kicked off the LSU team for multiple positive drug tests last August, then arrested in October for marijuana possession, ruining any chance he had to be reinstated to the team. "It's uncharacteristic of our organization to take chances on guys with troubled pasts,'' Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told me Sunday night. "But we thought this was a good player and person for us to take.''

    The Cardinals, one league source told me earlier Sunday, will randomly drug test Mathieu as often as weekly after he signs his NFL contract -- a contract, I'm told, that 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. If that happens, the Cardinals will be out a prime draft choice, but not any guaranteed money. Last year's 69th pick, wideout T.J. Graham of the Bills, signed a four-year deal with a $671,000 bonus. For Mathieu to make that money, he'll have to be a member of the Cardinals in good standing week to week -- and clean.

    Keim said he's counting on one of the Cardinals' cornerstone players, Patrick Peterson, to be a mentor to Mathieu, who is likely to play free safety; they were teammates at LSU in 2010. He said he's comfortable with how important football is to Mathieu, and that he thinks being an NFL player -- and staying one -- will be a powerful motivator. "I'm not naïve about this,'' Keim said. "I know the risk. But the risk to reward was enticing. His passion for the game is off the charts."

    Some team was going to take Mathieu, and others were interested somewhere in the middle of the draft. The risk is high. We'll see if Mathieu can keep up his end of the bargain now that Arizona has invested a valuable pick in him.

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  2. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    Great move by them imo.
  3. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Sounds pretty smart to me.

    This guy has to stay clean to make money.....shouldn't be that hard.

    Combined with Peteron's father being his mentor, if he can't make it in Arizona he probably can't make it anywhere.
  4. MonsterD

    MonsterD Quota outta absentia

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    Hope they don't give him the bonus in a plastic baggie because he might try to smoke it.

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