Can Arizona Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu follow the straightened path?

Christian Petersen

With a new contract and old habits - which one will supercede?

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Neibuhr circa 1942 and common Alcoholic Anonymous slogan.

Everyone has faced that proverbial fork in the road.

Whether it be a personal, business, financial, physical, emotional, mental or whatever roadblock life has thrown in your way - you come to that point where either you cross that bridge and move on - or you stop where you are and sink further into the abyss.

Eventually, the person has to be true to his own self. (Which would make a great signature tagline, BTW.)

Which leads me to the curious case of Tyrann Mathieu and his new 4-year contract he signed on Thursday with the Arizona Cardinals.

His guaranteed money will be spaced out along the longevity of the contract - a practice that the team has used before , according to AzCentral beat reporter Kent Somers, at least two players - RB Chuck Levy and LB Jamir Miller - both guys that had problems with marijuana use - with polar results.

Both Levy and Miller were Cardinals second round choices in 1994 under then-coach Buddy Ryan. Both failed at least two drug tests for pot and Miller was suspended for the first four games, while Levy for the entire season. Both were on the precipice of seeing their NFL dream of playing the game they loved vanished in a puff of smoke, literally. Both could have followed down the same path that many young multimillionaire NFL rookies have and as Miller stated: "When you give a 20 year old that much money, things are going to happen. Both players were eventually released.

But when the two players stumbled up to that metaphoric crossroad one, Miller, took the supposed high road and Levy, the other path less favored.

Miller had four very good seasons with the Cleveland Browns, being named Pro Bowl and All-Pro in 2001 and was the CEO of a Phoenix-based potato chip maker of the brand name of Crave.

Levy, meanwhile has had more difficulty overcoming his marijuana addiction. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers and had mediocre numbers before calling it quits two seasons later. He tried his hand at high school football with coaching jobs at Chaparal and Basha before a litany of charges had him arrested. Ryan seemed unsympathetic at the time, saying: "I don't for sorry for Levy at all. I feel sorry for Mr. B. and Chuck's teammates who believed in him."

So Mr. Mathieu - which path do you take?

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