That would be a highly unusual arrangement, even for a player like Mathieu, who is grateful to the team that gave him an opportunity. And the concept is news to Mathieu's agent, Pat Lawlor.
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"Ridiculous," Lawlor told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Monday. "Not going to happen. We had no contract discussion with them."
Lawlor confirmed that Mathieu is comfortable being subjected to weekly drug tests, and they understand a contract that "protects" the Cardinals makes sense. But Mathieu's agent fully expects to get the guaranteed money afforded to a player of his draft slot. (Last year's 69th overall pick received a signing bonus of $691,000.) Lawlor phoned the Cardinals on Monday to speak on the issue.
We suspect this won't be a hard problem to solve. Mathieu is not going to want a protracted contract standoff to start his NFL career.