Miles: Dismissing Tyrann Mathieu 'one of worst things I've done'

A day after Tyrann Mathieu and the Arizona Cardinalsagreed to terms on a five-year, $62.5 million contract extension, LSU coach Les Miles described the versatile defensive back's 2012 dismissal from the Tigers program as one of his worst decisions.

"That's one of the worst things I've ever done," Miles said Wednesday.

Mathieu starred in the secondary and as a punt returner for LSU in 2011. He earned SEC Championship Game MVP honors and was even a Heisman Trophy finalist. He was dismissed from the program in August 2012, and his substance-abuse issues were well-documented. That marked the end of his college career after just two seasons at LSU, but the Cardinals still made him a third-round draft choice in 2013 as the No. 69 overall pick.

His new contract makes him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

"He's so passionate about playing the game, playing football, it's allowed the best of Tyrann Mathieu to come forward," said Miles, whose comments Wednesday were captured via Periscope by "... This summer, we went up to New Orleans and had a free youth camp. Well he happened to have a youth camp at the exact same time. We went over to his camp and watched him interact with those kids and just how wonderful that was. To my way of thinking, he's eclipsed whatever history that somebody would hold against him. Who he is, who he's been, has been really consistent. I'm a Tyrann Mathieu fan."

As leery as NFL scouts can be about college players who are character risks, Mathieu is an example of a risk worth taking.

And for Miles, one who would have been worth keeping.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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