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Tyrann Mathieu contract: 'Honey Badger' gets guaranteed money, but Cardinals have some protection

Some of the guaranteed money is up front, some will come in the form of roster bonuses.


With the news that Arizona Cardinals rookie Tyrann Mathieu signed his four-year rookie contract, the immediate question is how much guaranteed money he gets, based on his history of off the field problems, which include multiple failed drug tests.

However, based on reports tweeted by both Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer, Mathieu will get the full amount of guaranteed money slated to a player drafted where he was, and the team gets a layer of protection.

Rapoport was the first to tweet that Mathieu would get the full amount of guaranteed money that would go to someone drafted in the third round, but that much of it will come in yearly roster bonuses instead of all of it coming as an up front signing bonus.

Albert Breer then added more details. Instead of getting the full $662,500 he would be slotted to get up front to sign, he instead gets $265,000 as his signing bonuses, and then the remaining $397,500 as roster bonuses as installments of $99,000 in 2014, $102,000 in 2015 and $154,000 in 2016.

In total, his contract is reportedly worth $3.052 million over the four years. Last year's 69th pick (Bills WR T.J. Graham) signed a deal with $2.9 million over four seasons.

It sounds like both parties came to the table willing to work with one another. Mathieu gets a good chunk of money up front and the team is protected if he goes back to having problems he had while in college.

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