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Mathieu should refuse deal that contains no guaranteed money

File photo of Tyrann Mathieu in Baton Rouge Reuters

The Cardinals have a special plan for the player they selected in round three of the draft, apart from moving him to free safety.

As Peter King of SI.com reported on Monday (and as Alper pointed out), the Cardinals plan to test Tyrann Mathieu randomly for drugs, and also to give him no guaranteed money in his rookie contract.

The labor deal permits teams to write a drug-testing clause into a player’s contract, as long as the team has a “reasonable basis” to request testing.  (If the Cardinals don’t have a “reasonable basis” to ask Mathieu to submit to drug testing, no team ever does.)  And we’re told that Mathieu will indeed agree to submit to random drug testing administered by the team.

It’s not known, however, whether Mathieu will agree to a deal with no guaranteed money.  In our view, that’s where Mathieu should draw the line.

If the Cardinals didn’t want to give him guaranteed money, they shouldn’t have made him the 69th overall pick in the draft.  Indeed, they shouldn’t have drafted him at all.

Guaranteed compensation for draft picks is driven by one thing:  Where they are drafted.  It doesn’t matter who the player is or what the player has done.  If a player has off-field concerns that affect his value in the draft pool, that will be fairly reflected by the extent to which he falls down the board.  When a team takes him at a given spot, fully aware of who the player is and what he has done, the team buys the player for the slot that the rookie wage scale contemplates.

Last year, Bills receiver T.J. Graham received a $671,252 signing bonus as the 69th player taken in the draft.  This year, Mathieu should receive at least that much.

And if the Cardinals don’t offer it, Mathieu should hold out.

The Mathieu situation represents the mirror image of a player who gets drafted later than he believes he should have been drafted wanting more money than his draft slot would indicate.  Regardless of whether the player or the team think the player was taken too low or too high, his draft slot dictates his compensation.  Period.

It’s bad form, in our view, for the Cardinals to even contemplate this.  They wanted him with pick No. 69.  They took him with pick No. 69.  And now they have to pay him accordingly.

The Rams tried a similar approach last year with cornerback Janoris Jenkins.  Specifically, they wanted to split his signing bonus into four separate roster bonuses.  Jenkins balked, and he eventually received his full $2 million signing bonus.

Mathieu is entitled to be treated the same way.  He should refuse to sign any contract unless and until the Cardinals agree to do so.

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115 Responses to “Mathieu should refuse deal that contains no guaranteed money”
  1. kylexitron says: Apr 29, 2013 4:42 PM

    What a joke of an organization.

    There are other teams who would have drafted him and paid him.

    If the risk isn’t worth the possible reward to you don’t waste a draft pick on him.

    Who do you think you are? You’re the CARDINALS. How much leverage do you think you have???

  2. bobby2478 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    Agree with you 100% on this Florio. The dumb thing is let’s say Mathieu does balk at this, as he should. He already has a tarnished reputation, and people (including most of the posters on this site) would be all over the guy for not being grateful a team took a chance on him in the draft.

    I’m with you though, the Cardinals knew what they were getting and are making him subject to random drug tests. They shouldn’t get out of paying him guaranteed money, which as you point out is driven by where a player is drafted.

    If they didn’t want to pay him the money, then as you point out, they shouldn’t have drafted him so high.

  3. b3nz0z says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    it is unfair and classless, but the cards are holding all the, uh, cards.

  4. macfunden says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    Agreed. You can’t have it both ways…both the player and the team inherit the spot and the slot. If they want assurances then take the chance that he will be around later where they feel comfortable.

  5. rubicon202 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    if his agent is worth anything he’s already shared with Mathieu.

  6. dvdman123 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    I don’t like Mathieu, but I agree 100% with Mike Florio’s position…..very well put.

  7. andrewproughcfe says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    >”And if the Cardinals don’t offer it, Mathieu should hold out.”

    If I were the Cards’ brass, I would have a one-finger response to any Mathieu holdout.

  8. inyofaceagain says: Apr 29, 2013 4:43 PM

    I suppose even Honey Badger should have a LITTLE guaranteed $. It IS the NFL after all, billion dollar business. The majority of any contract for Mathieu should be incentive-laden tho.

  9. nyjsec314 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:44 PM

    This is because the Cardinals are basically the Jets of the Southwest.

  10. contract says: Apr 29, 2013 4:44 PM

    Tyrann Mathieu can’t afford a holdout. He already has 3 1/2 strikes against him. As far as I’m concerned the Cardinals have every right to attach as many strings as they like to Mathieu’s contract. If he wants to get paid, all he has to do is stay clean, follow the same rules that the rest of us have to follow, and perform.

    Mathieu needs to remember that UPS doesn’t hand out many signing bonuses.

  11. blackandbluedivision says: Apr 29, 2013 4:44 PM

    And if the Cardinals don’t offer it, Mathieu should hold out.
    __________________________

    Are you kidding me? Like this kids image doesn’t need a bigger hit. Failed 10 drug tests. Skipped pre-draft workouts. Boasting that he would be a first round draft pick.

    Now a extended hold-out. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

  12. jackdaniels1 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:45 PM

    You’re right, he shouldn’t sign a deal w/o guaranteed money because he’s going to be outta the league in three years when everyone figures out this midget can’t cover anyone at the NFL level!

  13. bunjy96 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:46 PM

    100% disagree with you on this one.

    Mathieu is the classic reason players have to be tested.
    I never would have drafted him! He only cares about himself.

  14. ranger764 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:46 PM

    We are talking about the Cardinals here, right?

  15. sasquatchery says: Apr 29, 2013 4:46 PM

    … and undermine the Prove It or Lose It contract?

    craptastic.

    If he really wants it, let him earn it. If he keeps his end of the bargain he gets paid, earning the trust of the organization and a nice big fat payday that will give him the guaranteed money he would deserve.

    Until then, he’s a risk – why should the Cardinals put themselves on the line for more of a risk than they already have?

    He’s willing to prove it and they’re willing to give him a chance. Case closed.

  16. inyofaceagain says: Apr 29, 2013 4:46 PM

    If they went as far to draft the kid, they can drop the change on a signing bonus. That is the custom. If you draft the kid you can’t NOT give a signing bonus, especially a 4th rounder.
    Anything teams can do to get away with not paying the young guys. They treat um like merchandise. Reminds me of that Ballplayer Pelotero movie about Miguel Angel Sano. GREAT FLICK by the way.

  17. bradybbgoat says: Apr 29, 2013 4:46 PM

    Agree with you, Florio. The last CBA basically determined the guarantees for every slot in the draft.

    You can’t rewrite the CBA to suit your needs. If you wanted to pay less you select the player lower, or not at all. Period.

  18. vikingsvoice says: Apr 29, 2013 4:47 PM

    Players with leverage should hold out. Players with no leverage should not. Players out to prove themselves in more ways than just on the field should prove it.

  19. ratbirdsrule says: Apr 29, 2013 4:48 PM

    they should give and he should give it all back on the first failed test.

  20. xxwhodatxx says: Apr 29, 2013 4:48 PM

    He will be out of the league in 3 years no matter what money he gets or doesn’t.

  21. cajunaise says: Apr 29, 2013 4:49 PM

    I can imagine the discussion that led to this:

    Cards’ brass #1: “Is it wise to offer him a deal with no guaranteed money?”

    Cards’ brass #2: *derisive snort* “Why not? Honey Badger don’t care…”

  22. madnova says: Apr 29, 2013 4:49 PM

    If he held out and re-entered the draft, he’d be another year older and two years removed from playing a game, and still another year away from starting his second contract. So the Cards have some leverage there.

    I don’t believe this is unprecedented, either. Didn’t Maurice Clarett sign a contract that was incentive based rather than including a signing bonus?

  23. fordmandalay says: Apr 29, 2013 4:50 PM

    Absolutely. This is the U.S., not some third world country. And the NFL is the most profitable sport in the world, the Players Association should be screaming bloody murder about this.

  24. jcbadger34 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:50 PM

    I hope he holds out and gets exactly what he deserves……nothing.

  25. lovetron says: Apr 29, 2013 4:50 PM

    How embarrassing for AZ. It’s an insulting offer to a 3rd-round selection, troubled past or not. I don’t know all the behind-the-scenes mechanisms in place, but I suspect the players’ union has been in touch with Mathieu and his agent to advise them not to sign such a deal. This would be a horrible precedent to set.

  26. walker615 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:51 PM

    Sorry, totally disagree. It’s Matthieu’s fault that he has no leverage whatsoever- and I’m rooting for the kid, I really hope he succeeds. But the cardinals took a chance on him, and he owes them some serious concessions for that.

  27. whereyaat says: Apr 29, 2013 4:51 PM

    I agree with logicalvoice, the Redskins are classless.

  28. mtchainsmoker says: Apr 29, 2013 4:51 PM

    I wouldn’t give him any guaranteed money either. What has he ever done to give anyone the impression that he won’t just use his guaranteed money to buy a big baggie? With enough guaranteed cash, he could buy a house, a car, a lifetime supply of weed and then retire without ever playing a full season.

  29. vikesfansteve says: Apr 29, 2013 4:51 PM

    He passed all his tests at the combine. Cardinals are kind of shady on this one.

  30. mn2long says: Apr 29, 2013 4:52 PM

    While I agree it is a good suggestion for him to insist on a signing bonus, I can see the Cards side to this as well. If he refuses and the Cards stick to their guns, he will be screwed though. What team would draft him next year after 2 1/2 years away from the game with all his baggage? And, what are the chances he could stay out of trouble for that long without football giving him structure? My guess is, he takes what he can get. The salary he misses out on in one season will erase any gains he could make in negotiations next year. Also, he could possibly make a husge portion back on the pay for performance program.

  31. bleachertees says: Apr 29, 2013 4:52 PM

    Reminds me of Maurice Clarett’s deal with Denver. Although he initiated the no guaranteed money aspect for larger incentives.

  32. mudmandenny says: Apr 29, 2013 4:52 PM

    It seem`s as though there have been several shots taken at the CBA here in the last week or so!! What part of collective bargaining is not being understood?

  33. jprcox says: Apr 29, 2013 4:52 PM

    Why would the Cards put this in the press? Seems like they are rubbing the issues in his face – this is something that should be discussed behind closed doors.

    Great first impression.

  34. stataddict says: Apr 29, 2013 4:53 PM

    The main problem with your advice is that one of the end games for Mathieu would be that he would be two years removed from football if the Cardinals stick to their guns.

    Mathieu’s value at that point would be even lower than what is was this year, so he would move from making a decent living this year to probably working in the CFL next year.

  35. hearsaystaff says: Apr 29, 2013 4:53 PM

    Maurice Clarett took no guaranteed money and what happened to him? He got cut as a 3rd rounder. Don’t do it Tyrann!

  36. bilnicki62 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:53 PM

    So will he be recieving his bonus in quarters, dimes, or nickels……?

  37. bigredgoog says: Apr 29, 2013 4:54 PM

    Guaranteed money is not a right. A six time drug test failing player (by his words) or any player for that matter has one RIGHT and that is to hold out. In the book Moneyball I think I recall that the A’s made a player a first round choice who would have been a fifth round choice on everyone else’s board, the caveat was he had to take fifth round money.

    My point is that this player should not be told by outsiders that he Deserves anything. He would be well served to have his contract back loaded not front loaded so he doesn’t fall victim to the temptations of pockets full of money. I hope Arizona keeps to their guns and offers good money to this player but it being contingent on being drug free.

  38. onebucplace says: Apr 29, 2013 4:54 PM

    The guy has a ton of issues, if he is going to stay clean would he even welcome this extra incentive to do so? The player has a contract, if they release him from it he’ll be able to get a job elsewhere. If he doesn’t do anything illegal he’ll get paid the same money. Try thinking like a decent person from time to time instead of just being a typical lawyer whose first concern is always money (unless there’s a political agenda involved and you can get some press out of it).

  39. nou04 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:54 PM

    Mathieu is not in any position to hold out. If he really wanted full compensation, he should have put down the marijuana after, I don’t know, maybe the 1st failed drug test. 2nd? 3rd?

    He’s a loser that is lucky he is even getting the privilege to play in the NFL.

  40. helladonks says: Apr 29, 2013 4:54 PM

    Totally agree. The kid is a big risk, but they can’t use his past to muscle him like some mafioso. THEY chose him!

  41. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 29, 2013 4:55 PM

    How about he agrees to the lack of guaranteed money if the team and the league agree to take care of him in the event that his brain gets pulverized by one of those now illegal helmet shots?

  42. rhamrhoddy says: Apr 29, 2013 4:55 PM

    I completely agree. As far as drug testing goes, that seems perfectly reasonable and I would hope he would submit to that.

    As far as not wanting to pay him based on his draft slot, the Cardinals got great value when they scored that quality of talent in the third round.

    I haven’t heard him complain yet that he should be paid more than his draft slot based on his talent so the Cardinals already got their “discount”.

    They knew it was a high risk, high reward situation when they drafted him so they can’t have it both ways.

    And of course the most obvious thing is that there have been countless players who have committed far worse crimes than Mathieu who have not been required to sign for no guaranteed money.

  43. blackqbwhiterb says: Apr 29, 2013 4:56 PM

    His value is whatever he negotiates it to be.

  44. dasportsninja says: Apr 29, 2013 4:56 PM

    This is a negotiation. The Honey BAdger would be in a position to demand more potential compensation if he is to accept 0 money guaranteed. Very simple. Risk reward relationship. The more risk the team bares, the lower the total value of the contract. In this case the team would be placing all the risk on TM.

  45. cliffordc05 says: Apr 29, 2013 4:57 PM

    If he doesn’t agree to the contract the Cardinals are offering him then the Cardinals should tell him to go pound sand.

    This is high risk high reward territory. He is receiving very nice compensation for an individual who failed up to ten drug tests without any guaranteed money and couldn’t finish his college career on the team roster. He will receive third round compensation if he passes all of his drug tests. I would not have drafted him in this position but I assume that the terms of this contract were made known to him prior to the Cardinals selection.

  46. kisstherings says: Apr 29, 2013 4:58 PM

    I’m glad you had the courtesy to preface your statements with “in our view” in this article, because you usually don’t, and readers can sometimes confuse your grandstanding on irrelevant issues as fact. The bottom line is that you have no idea what Matheau and the Cardinals discussed before he was drafted in that spot, and weather they discussed that as a term they would expect if they drafted him there (as they have every right to do – the #1 pick often has a contract in place by draft day). If both camps are mentioning those terms this early after the draft, then it was obviously discussed and your conspiracy theory conjecture is short-sighted as usual.

  47. gbrim says: Apr 29, 2013 4:58 PM

    I would guess this was discussed w/Mathieu and his agent prior to being picked. He stays clean, he gets far more money than he would get if he dropped to later rounds and got a small guaranteed signing bonus, and smaller salaries for the life of the rookie contract.

  48. normnailz says: Apr 29, 2013 5:06 PM

    the last i checked, no one forced Arizona to draft him. just like no one forced any of your employers to hire you. i am guessing if you went in for an interview and told them you needed a large signing bonus they would tell you to take a hike. Arizona could have easily passed on him (ie, told him to take a hike), but they didn’t, knowing full well that the guys above and below him get paid money up front. i’m not a fan of Mathieu’s antics or personality and think he is a moron, but DON’T DRAFT HIM if he is such a problem.

  49. fiyeaglesfiy says: Apr 29, 2013 5:07 PM

    Gotta agree…unless the the cards are proposing that he receives his guaranteed money, but that’s voided if he fails a drug test (can make an argument that should apply for any player)

  50. deedub1639 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:07 PM

    As far as I know the guy hasn’t said one thing about the contract. It’s the media and everyone else telling him what to do. Force the guy to be a grown up and make a decision. It is insulting not to offer the guy a bonus but I doubt he is going to go broke. He has earned every bit of skeptism that the organization has thrown on him. Let him prove to everyone what he is worth. Could backfire on the Cards… If (big if) the guy overplays his contract he will remember this day.

  51. blutbaddenbill says: Apr 29, 2013 5:07 PM

    that is why the cardinals will always be losers! if he agrees to all the drug tests,he should be paid like any other player! nflpa will never agree to this!

  52. srogers202 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:10 PM

    I agree with the article… but I also believe that if Tyrann stays clean, he will get all the money he would normally be guaranteed.

    It sounds like the money is divided between weeks Tyrann is on the roster; and I’m sure the Cards will do everything in their power to ensure he stays on the roster. The only way he is cut is if he messes up.

    If Tyrann is confident that his addiction is behind him, he shouldn’t feel too worried about the lack of guarantees. However, with how the NFL works, guaranteed money is king, and I would understand if he tries to renegotiate.

  53. godblessfootball says: Apr 29, 2013 5:11 PM

    Nothing in life is guaranteed. If he doesn’t do dope he gets paid. If he does dope he doesn’t get paid. Why would any business guarantee money for someone to show up and do dope on their dime?

    He failed 10 drug tests! This notion of you picked him at 69 means you should pay him 69 money is stupid in this scenario.

    Cards are saying to Mathieu “dude your a good player with a history of dope problems. Nobody wants you but we will take a chance on you if you stay clean.”

  54. tedmurph says: Apr 29, 2013 5:13 PM

    I disagree. The Cards seem willing to pay the salary and guarantee for that slot, if and only if Mathieu stays clean. If he stays clean he’ll get the money due for that slot. The only way he gets less is if he fails a drug test and gets suspended. Based on his history, I don’t blame them. A little different situation, but part of DAmendola’s guaranteed $ is in the form of a PER GAME roster bonus. Why, because he’s injury prone. Also, he’s a veteran, not an unproven rookie. Seems fair to me. If there are extenuating circumstances, write them into the contract. Why pay a bonus you might have to go after later.

  55. phinfan says: Apr 29, 2013 5:13 PM

    After hearing him speak on draft day I’m venturing to guess he’s as dense as brick.

    Let’s just say happy he has a agent.

  56. jacunn2000 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:14 PM

    He has no one to blame but himself. The Cards are giving him the shot of a lifetime. Count you blessings moron..

  57. seaeagle707 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:19 PM

    The kid knows without a doubt that the spotlight is on him. He knows he’s history if he fails a test. He knows he has to perform, or else. He knows the Cards are not going to be generous with “second chances”. They’ve sent their message in no uncertain terms. They are also dangerously close to the border, which no doubt has elevated their concerns.

    But to not pay him “anything” until he plays? No way, Jose. You’ve already used the stick Arizona, now give him the carrot.

  58. orivar says: Apr 29, 2013 5:20 PM

    I don’t agree with holding out however not paying him at all is absolutely ridiculous. The random drug tests is his fault, but not unreasonable, the no guaranteed money however is.

    It doesn’t have to be something huge..but got to pay.

  59. dwoofer says: Apr 29, 2013 5:21 PM

    Finally !! A draft pick that the Cardinals can use EXTORTION on to not pay him good money. What a windfall !

  60. theskolbandit says: Apr 29, 2013 5:23 PM

    Trade him to the vikings for a next year 3rd round pick we will pay him. Lol

  61. FinFan68 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:24 PM

    I don’t think the kid is a wise investment. I agree with Florio as long as the CBA spells out SPECIFIC requirements based on slot. If the CBA says a player taken at X draft position will receive X base salary and X signing bonus then he should get it. If there is wiggle room or agents have changed the compensation for anyone in the past, then the Cards can deny the guaranteed money based on his history. The teams shouldn’t have it both ways but neither should the players. I seem to remember several rookie “holdouts” over the past couple years. if the requirements are as cut and dried as implied there should be no reason that every draft pick isn’t signed within a week.

  62. srogers202 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:25 PM

    Also, I’ve heard that Cards decision to take Tyrann in the 3rd round was predicated on a pre-agreed contract–including drug tests and non-guaranteed salary.

  63. glazerh8er says: Apr 29, 2013 5:28 PM

    I think it’s funny that if it were up to Gruden he would have been taken in the 1st round. Gruden is an idiot savant. Genius x’s and o’s, retard when it comes to character evaluation.

  64. vikingstillidie says: Apr 29, 2013 5:29 PM

    They are just keeping him on short leech.

  65. tedmurph says: Apr 29, 2013 5:29 PM

    Actually, after rethinking it, I’m gonna disagree with myself. With a signing bonus, you still get the $ if you get hurt, with a roster bonus you wouldn’t. There is no reason Mathieu shouldn’t have that protection. Still, the Cards desreve some protection too. Maybe they can get creative like the Pats did with Hernandez rookie contract. I believe he got a little less guaranteed, but a contract with a higher total value.

  66. antonio says: Apr 29, 2013 5:33 PM

    I have to go to work five days a week and I don’t have any “guaranteed” money!

  67. keylimelight says: Apr 29, 2013 5:34 PM

    Wow. Tyrann has little to no leverage here and the Cards are playing hardball.

    Such ruthlessness disgusts me.

  68. edavidberg says: Apr 29, 2013 5:34 PM

    Florio is 100% right on this one. In Maurice Clarett’s case the guy actually TURNED DOWN guaranteed money in exchange for different terms. That was stupid at the time and proved to be so when he was cut before training camp was over.

    In this case as his agent I would absolutely hold out for the standard third round guaranteed contract UNLESS the Cards make major concessions such as giving Mathieu a three year deal instead of four or giving him the potential to make more money in incentives.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out but I think the Cards are going to be the ones to fold if they insist on a standard contract amount with no guaranteed money. It would be foolish of them to have him miss training camp because they won’t guarantee $6xx,000.

  69. polapea says: Apr 29, 2013 5:38 PM

    I’m sure the Cards are concerned that giving this kid a large sum of money at once is going to cause problems. That said, you drafted him, pay the man. If he screws up, it’s on him.

  70. edavidberg says: Apr 29, 2013 5:39 PM

    I’d be very surprised if Mathieu’s agent suggested in any way they would take less guaranteed money to be taken higher. What’s the point in doing that? The guaranteed money is the whole reason you want to be drafted as high as possible. They knew he was going to be drafted at some point. This sounds like a hare brained scheme they are disclosing after the fact. I hope Mathieu agrees to it but gets a shorter deal than usual so he can make it to free agency sooner and really stick it to the Cardinals.

  71. mr86ism says: Apr 29, 2013 5:44 PM

    Oh look at all the sweet hypocrites on here. You hate when teams cut or release or trade a player and you hate when a player holds out. We laugh at you! Like the kid said, it was 7 months ago. Bridge crossed, case closed, let it go.

  72. getyourownname says: Apr 29, 2013 5:45 PM

    Completely disagree.

    There’s no entitlement of player to terms that they are not already contractually entitled (either in their own deal, or in the CBA) to get. Assuming they are within the bounds of the CBA requirements, Cards have every right to structure the deal so as to best get the player performance they think he can provide. Giving someone who can’t control himself access to guaranteed funds doesn’t sound especially smart to me.

    If he straightens himself out and performs the way he promised, he will get the money same as if it was guaranteed. In fact, having the incentive is probably in his own best interest, assuming his interest is getting paid as much as his talent level suggests.

  73. steelerfanforlife says: Apr 29, 2013 5:46 PM

    I agree! Don’t draft him if you’re still concerned about his issues, at least not that high. Can’t have it both ways!

  74. kylexitron says: Apr 29, 2013 5:49 PM

    “I would guess this was discussed w/Mathieu and his agent prior to being picked. He stays clean, he gets far more money than he would get if he dropped to later rounds and got a small guaranteed signing bonus, and smaller salaries for the life of the rookie contract.”

    If it was discussed it was a one-sided conversation. There are 31 other teams in the NFL who would have eventually picked him up in the next round or two who wouldn’t expect him to take a bad contract.

  75. mfernandes17 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:52 PM

    I agree Florio but why didn’t you take the same position when the Raiders asked Carson Palmer to redo his contract with no guaranteed money?

  76. srogers202 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:55 PM

    “If it was discussed it was a one-sided conversation. There are 31 other teams in the NFL who would have eventually picked him up in the next round or two who wouldn’t expect him to take a bad contract.”

    Why does it have to be a one-sided conversation. He was in AZ several times, met with the coach, GM and his friend/teammate Patrick Peterson. He understood AZ was the best situation for him, so he agreed to take a “prove-it” contract. He’ll still make lots of a money–it’s not a bad contract.

  77. keylimelight says: Apr 29, 2013 5:57 PM

    So why select him if you didn’t expect to pay Mathieu according to the drafted rookie pay scale?

    It’s not like he was an undrafted player with zero options. In all likelihood he would have been chosen by another team.

    I understand and agree with the other contract clauses, but let’s be real, Mathieu’s real risk is his size and the uncertainty as to whether or not he can play with the big boys.

    I think the Cards are using (ab-using) his questionable character to hide behind the real risk of drafting him–size.

  78. catfish252 says: Apr 29, 2013 5:58 PM

    I’m not sure how rookies get paid if there is no signing bonus, do they start drawing salary once they are drafted or when they sign? if there is no signing bonus they should at least give him money to live on until his normal salary starts, then if he stays clean for the end of the year, then give him the signing bonus plus interest/bonus/incentive, whatever you want to call it for keeping clean. (Not that I feel anyone should get a bonus for staying clean) If he screws up the Cardinals are not out the signing bonus, if he stays cleans he gets a nice bump to go along with the signing bonus. Instead of that $ 671K, give him a $1M, I’d be willing to wait until December to make an extra $330K on my bonus. Puts all the pressure on him.

  79. hatesycophants says: Apr 29, 2013 6:01 PM

    He would be a fool to sign such a contract.

    Some of you folks are absolutely nuts.

  80. fanofevilempire says: Apr 29, 2013 6:02 PM

    pay the man stinkin cards!

    or no guaranteed for one year deal, have a awesome season and be a free agent.

  81. jessethegreat says: Apr 29, 2013 6:05 PM

    Except for the fact the Honey Badger doesn’t have a leg to stand on here…. First it wouldn’t do anything to help his image. Second, the Cardinals have his contractual rights until next years draft if he holds out. Third, sitting out another year will not raise his draft stock for the next draft. Fourth, the Cardinals have the best team to provide the support group the kid needs to get things changed around. Peterson will be instrumental with this kid, and he already respects PP as a mentor. Finally, dangling this carrot in front of his mouth represents the good “tough love” Tyrann had been missing and NEEDING to fulfill his full potential.

  82. jziii says: Apr 29, 2013 6:10 PM

    I think a lot of the commenters don’t understand how this works. It’s a COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT that both sides–the NFLPA and the NFL–have agreed on. The Cardinals can’t make an exception to it and the NFLPA shouldn’t allow them to. It’s about more than just one player here, because if the Cards pull this on Mathieu and get away with it, you can bet every team is going to start coming up with reasons/excuses to withhold guarantees to their draft picks.

    And Florio’s right: If the Cardinals didn’t want to pay him guaranteed money per his draft slot, they shouldn’t have drafted him, because another team probably would have drafted him and paid him. And if no other team had drafted him, he would have been a free agent, allowing him to consider other options. By drafting him, the Cardinals essentially removed his freedom consider other offers. The team wants it both ways, and I don’t see any scenario in which they get away with not paying him. Dumb move on their part as it just starts out the relationship on a bad note.

  83. willjasper says: Apr 29, 2013 6:15 PM

    They could break the bonus down into four equal payments. The only way he would forfeit any of it is if he fails a drug test.

  84. redbirdsrising says: Apr 29, 2013 6:15 PM

    Before everyone gets into a tizzy, this was all based on a Peter King “League Source” and not any primary information.

    I do agree that Mathieu should refuse any contract without guaranteed money but I also think it’s silly as fans to jump on a story that just sounds “Plausible” without any truly reliable source.

  85. marcinhouston says: Apr 29, 2013 6:18 PM

    I think they should be able to compromise on a deal that voids most of his guarantees if he fails a drug test but ultimately increases his guarantees as long as he passes the tests and guarantees him a bit more than the draft slot would indicate if he is cut for other reasons (performance or injury). After all, if he stays clean he is worth more than his slot on the average, and if he doesn’t stay clean he is worth nothing, and the Cards should not want him if he won’t be on himself staying clean. The thing is, they have to give him a little extra to make the bet. If the Cards won’t pay extra money guaranteed against anything but drug test failure / arrest, Mathieu should not take less guaranteed against drugs / arrest. They could give him $1.2m bonus paid out in increments with each passed test over the contact, which immediately vests if he is cut for injury or performance reasons without a failed test or arrest.

  86. metalhead65 says: Apr 29, 2013 6:24 PM

    if he does not sign then the cardinals should let him sit out this year and let him try again next year. see if anybody else will take a chance on a 10 time loser! it’s not like he was the missing piece for them anyway.

  87. packermilitia says: Apr 29, 2013 6:30 PM

    The Cards were fools to take him with the 69th pick to begin with. The dude is a train wreck coming unless they can control his immature behavior.

  88. datageek94 says: Apr 29, 2013 6:32 PM

    One of the problems in the NFL is accountability, or rather, a lack of it. Due to supreme athletic skills, players are able to make it to the NFL without ever being made accountable for their actions. This is a lesson Mathieu needs to learn. Cardinals, hold your ground!

  89. dartwick says: Apr 29, 2013 6:34 PM

    Im kind of hoping the Carnals stick to their demands – just so I can see the Unions get tin a big fight and see the Commish look bad again.

  90. vikescry1 says: Apr 29, 2013 7:02 PM

    i wouldn’t have a problem that say’s if he failed any drug test’s that they should get some of there money back. but if not then pay him.

  91. spinmovr says: Apr 29, 2013 7:24 PM

    His reputation isn’t an issue now. He was drafted. He was impressive enough to be the 69th pick despite not playing football in a year, going through rehab and catching a ridiculous amount of bad ink.

    He’s in position now to do what he does best: play football. How well he does that influences his reputation more than anything at this point.

    As far as holding out, I’m all in favor of players using whatever tools they have to in negotiations. Can’t fault the Cardinals for trying to get over on a player, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Can’t fault Mathieu for resisting, that’s what he’s supposed to do.

  92. riverhorsey says: Apr 29, 2013 7:27 PM

    Maybe the Cards made the drug test deal before they drafted him?

  93. granadafan says: Apr 29, 2013 7:27 PM

    The Cards are betting that Mattieu, er his agent, won’t want the negative publicity that comes with holding out, especially for a guy who is lucky he’s a) not in prison and b) to be drafted at all.

  94. majormeatcurtains says: Apr 29, 2013 7:35 PM

    If he’s clean and on the team each week he makes his money? What’s wrong with that? Actually holding someone to their promise with the only thing available (money) is a deal breaker? New level of stupidity has been achieved by the writers. Dude will be a alchy by year 2 anyway. Delete.

  95. rohinaz says: Apr 29, 2013 7:50 PM

    Are you bashing the organization based on hearsay? His agent already said they havent even begun talking about contract. Im not sure Matthieu is even in Arizona yet, but hey crucify the cards for no legit reason. Great ‘reporting’

  96. jsrdc says: Apr 29, 2013 7:57 PM

    Mathieu should pass on their no $ guaranteed offer…… and then puff.

    In all seriousness, this is ridiculous. You don’t pick a guy this “high” in the draft, and then not guarantee him any money. If they are so adamant about him staying clean, there should be a clause in his contract that would cause him to forfeit game checks if he doesn’t test clean. Don’t start this crap, Arizona. Give the kid a chance to prove himself.

    His agent won’t let the Cards get away with this. He should absolutely hold out if they don’t budge, and eventually he will get his pay day. I just hope he keeps his head on straight and realizes the partying days are over for him in the NFL (when it comes to Mary Jane, anyway).

    If he would have been drafted by the Broncos, it would have been a lot harder for Mathieu to stay clean. He should welcome the opportunity to start on a team with an all-pro like Peterson mentoring him.

  97. silvernblak says: Apr 29, 2013 7:58 PM

    Was Tyrann the only one drafted this year that had off the field issues? How is a DUI any different? He was honest with the whole world and put his reputation on the line for random drug testing. Now the cards dont want to meet his bonus and take advantage of him, why? Did they forget its not actually a priveledge to play for a bad team and now it shows the true colors of this pathetic organization!

  98. truths4all says: Apr 29, 2013 8:18 PM

    Playing in the NFL is not for everyone, even for those who want to get in. Just ask Vince Young. Or Florio’s favorite whipping boy, Tebow. If Mattieu can’t walk the walk, he’s out of the NFL. If Mattieu can walk the walk, his incentive ladened contract will compensate him generously.

    Of course this tactic would not work for someone with a clean record, but Mattieu had 5 strikes in a 3 strike system. How many other players have gotten kicked off his college team for wholesale drug abuse and then gotten his chance when he gets drafted? Its not as if the Cards do not want to pay him if he stays clean. If you are worried about a career ending injury, just make sure that Mattieu buys lots of insurance as an integral part of his contract or link his huge amount of insurance coverage into his Cardinal contract.

  99. delusionalcardsfan says: Apr 29, 2013 8:18 PM

    I love that everyone is bashing the Cards already when they haven’t even started working the contract.

  100. thebigtim2012 says: Apr 29, 2013 8:21 PM

    The cards have every right to give him a non garunteed contract and he has every right to not accept it. I’m willing to bet no team would give him garunteed money. He had chances to prove himself at least 9 times and failed every time why would he change now. Where they drafted him has nothing to do with how much they should pay him. If he was first round that would be a little different but he wasn’t. He was arguably a first round talent that fell for a reason and that reason is good enough to not give him garunteed money. Deal with it for 2 years. Actually prove yourself then ask to renegotiate. Don’t demand ask. You made your bed now go lay in it

  101. skinsrock says: Apr 29, 2013 8:40 PM

    Yeah, Mon! I just got back from Jamaica… it sticks with you for a while… Agree completely. A man should have a chance to start his career with a clean slate… He has never failed an NFL drug screen & shouldn’t bow to some team that “did their research” … Just like the Redskins when they took Rambo in the 6th round & he failed 2 test in college, I guarantee they won’t be putting stipulations on his rookie contract.

  102. bearclaw69 says: Apr 29, 2013 8:56 PM

    “They took him with pick No. 69. And now they have to pay him accordingly.” Why, Mike, because you say so? You aren’t spending your money for his salary, so your opinion on this is largely irrelevant. In addition, this he gets more or less than I get based on where I was drafted is BS. If someone gets more than another player from another team, the player’s current team should and would be justified in saying, “Well, maybe so and so did get more but YOU don’t play for them. YOU play for us, and if you want to play, you’ll do it for what WE pay, not the other guy’s team. Players are EMPLOYEES, not OWNERS and they do NOT get to dictate their compensation.

  103. brownsfanincali says: Apr 29, 2013 9:07 PM

    What’s this kid supposed to live on until game checks start coming in ?

  104. @Cereal_22 says: Apr 29, 2013 9:18 PM

    Pulling for but betting against the Honey B who said during a draft day interview that “they tried to take all of this away from me”…..no “they” didnt, you did it to yourself. This tells me that he has the wrong people around him

  105. lawyermalloy says: Apr 29, 2013 9:52 PM

    While the “Cards” seem to be holding most of the cards here; he’ll wind up getting his signing bonus. The most logical and fair compromise would be to pay him his signing bonus in increments over the course of his contract. If he passes all his drug tests and stays on the roster without suspension he gets his money over time. If he’s cut at anytime unrelated to off field issues, the bonus money would be immediately due. This would protect both parties.

  106. bigzant82 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:02 PM

    my cleveland browns passed on him looks like a good deal now smh the kid is greedy and dont know if ya drafted in the nfl its privilege not a right!!!!
    for once mike lombardi knew what he was doin!!!

  107. ezg1 says: Apr 29, 2013 10:32 PM

    Giving this immature young man any guaranteed money is a prescription for failure. Mark my word, all these liberals supporting his entitlement to equal treatment and ignoring his history of failure are the same individuals that will be cursing the league for not doing enough to manage his behavior when he fails!

  108. ballreaper says: Apr 29, 2013 10:50 PM

    I hope he has a good agent who is not doing amateur hour,Because the minute this was brought up it should have been shot down by the agent.This is beyond bush… shame on the Cards.In the NFL they don’t even see their full conract, now they want to do them dirty on the signing bonus too.

  109. bensstinkyfingers says: Apr 29, 2013 11:12 PM

    Hope he doesn’t sign, the kid made mistakes, maybe a couple more times than most, but there have been many other 20 something football players get in trouble, then get their sh#t together and become stars in the league. Wish my browns would’ve taken a chance on the kid, he couldve made a formidable tandem with Joe Haden, and its not like the browns haven’t blown 80% of their draft picks in the past. Hope the kid gets a fair shot and cleans up his act.

  110. rudegger says: Apr 29, 2013 11:30 PM

    If you don’t trust the guy, why are you drafting him?

  111. billmead1976 says: Apr 30, 2013 1:12 AM

    You’re wrong on this. He’s damaged goods and he should come with a discount.

    Like a guy with a bad credit score that has to pay a higher interest rate. Like the bad driver that has to pay a higher insurance premium.

    Prove it on the field then ask for more.

  112. lowriderfxr says: Apr 30, 2013 7:04 AM

    OK, I usually agree with you Florio, but not this time.

    The Cards drafted this kid to give him a chance. He should be grateful for that. It’s not whether or not they think he’ll make it, it’s that they are hoping he will.

    He could be Warren Sapp or he could be Cecil Collins, luck of the draw.

    Tell me another job where a new employee who has exhibited risky behavior over 10 times and yet he gets a large portion of his money guaranteed?

    I’m from Louisiana. This kid was Elvis down here and HE messed it up.

    We are not talking a kid with a suspect knee, we are talking a kid that has broken the law and let his team down, again, over 10 times and is not exactly showing signs that he has matured.

    To ask that he submit to tests to determine that he isn’t indulging in harmful , illegal substances, doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

    Don’t smoke dope and you’ll get your money in regular paychecks, what half a million, in 16 weeks? I wish my boss would make me that offer!

    If he refuses, let him walk, he’ll just end up at home or in the stands , like he did at LSU last year. I’m sad to say that is where I’m afraid he is going to end up, regardless of how this plays out.

  113. bernbeard says: Apr 30, 2013 7:34 AM

    Now that weed is legalized in Colorado what are they going to be testing for. If he is in colorado and smokes some, it will stay in his system for 30-50 days. I think that they should give him the bonus, look at all the players that are getting the money and they were on steroids at one time or another (bosworth, Mandrich). When they drafted him there was an implied contract like with all the other players. The rookies lost a lot with the new contract. Did the fans get a cap on ticket price increases.

  114. keylimelight says: Apr 30, 2013 7:40 AM

    Some of these comments read as though Mathieu is the only pot smoker in the league and that marijuana use is the scourge of the universe.

    From what I’ve read, the NFL tests for cannabis once a season and there are many doobee users in the league, they just know how to avoid getting caught.

    I think this team’s biggest concern is not that they took a chance on a pot smoker, but that they chose, in the third round, a prospect who is 5-9, 187, 4.49 CB/FS and want to see if he pan’s out performance-wise in the game.

  115. davyd83 says: Apr 30, 2013 9:08 AM

    The Cardinals owe this rookie nothing. How about structuring the bonus like this, pay it at the end of the contract after he’s completed every drug test. That’s Matthieu guaranteeing Arizona that he will be clean. The only hits this kid has shown the ability to make on a consistent basis are bong hits. He has only himself to blame.

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