Tyrann Mathieu, the Arizona Cardinals' 2013 third round draft choice out of LSU, has already entered into the NFL's drug-testing program and could be subject to up to 10 tests per month, according to nfl.com.
The "Honey Badger" signed a four-year contract with the Red Birds last week. He is a talented safety/cornerback and punt returner and has All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson to serve as a mentor to him. Linebacker and former LSU teammate Kevin Minter was selected a round ahead of him.
The Cardinals realize there was risk drafting Mathieu, a very talented player who also had some serious off the field issues. His career is at a crossroads. He can't take afford any missteps. A solid support system appears to be in place already in Glendale.
"It goes back to the fact that if you have 53 guys in your locker room, and if 25 of them are character risks, you'd have a real problem," Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim told nfl.com. "We feel like we've done a good enough job drafting and going through free agency to build some character — not characters — in our locker room, so that we can surround a few guys who may have had some issues in the past that deserve a second chance and an opportunity to succeed. You look at your locker room, and you have to feel like you have some stability in place, so you can take a chance here or there."
Mathieu is clearly a high risk-high reward player. The fact that he has entered into the NFL's drug-testing program is a solid step in showing his teammates, coaches and the front office that he means business and is committed to turning his life around.
He has the talent to have a very productive career in the NFL.
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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Football, Kevin Minter, NFL, Patrick Peterson, Steve Keim, Tyrann Mathieu