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Arizona Cardinals ink Tyrann Mathieu to 4-year rookie contract

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He is the sixth of the nine Cardinals draft picks to sign their contracts

USA TODAY Sports

Despite the possible threat of a contract squabble over guaranteed money, Tyrann Mathieu has his first NFL contract. The Arizona Cardinals announced on Thursday that they came to terms with the third rounder out of Louisiana State on a four year contract.

Mathieu was the team's third round selection, the 69th selection overall, in April's NFL Draft.

When contract terms come out, it will be interesting to see how much of that money is guaranteed and how it is structured, considering the off the field concerns that come with Mathieu, who was kicked off the LSU squad after issues with drugs.

In two seasons at LSU, Mathieu (5-9, 186) had eight fumble recoveries (two returned for touchdowns), 11 forced fumbles, four interceptions, 133 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 16 passes defensed, and six sacks while also returning 27 punts for 421 yards (15.6 yard avg.) and two touchdowns. His 11 forced fumbles established a school career-record and tied the SEC's all-time mark.

As a sophomore in 2011, Mathieu was a Heisman Trophy finalist, recipient of the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player and unanimous first-team All-America selected after starting all 13 games and collecting 76 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, 7.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback pressures. He also ranked sixth in the nation with six forced fumbles and third in the country with five fumble recoveries that season.

Of the nine draft picks the Cardinals had, six of them are now under contract. All that remain unsigned are first round pick Jonathan Cooper and fourth round picks Alex Okafor and Earl Watford.

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