There was some early concern about how the Cardinals would structure the contract of Tyrann Mathieu, given Mathieu’s issues. But it didn’t seem to make a big difference. The slot at which Mathieu was chosen was scheduled to get a $662,500 signing bonus — obviously guaranteed money — and instead the deal is broken down with a smaller signing bonus ($265,000, according to Albert Breer) and then roster bonuses of $99,000 in 2014, $102,000 in 2015, $154,000 in 2016 (according to Adam Schefter.)
Breer also said that extra bonus money is guaranteed for skill and injury, which is contract lingo meaning Mathieu would get the money even if he isn’t good enough to make the team those years. But it covers the Cardinals if Mathieu isn’t on the roster because of drugs, which sounds like a fair way to resolve what could have been a complicated issue. (Breer has those details here.)
The contract has standard rookie minimum salaries of $405,000 this season, $495,000 in 2014, $585,000 in 2015 and $675,000 in 2016.
(UPDATE: A couple of days later, here is a full analysis of how the bonus system is structured for Mathieu.)
Mathieu called getting the deal done “a walk in the park.” He smiled as he said it. He knows many are paying attention — while he was waiting for team president Michael Bidwill to arrive to sign the deal, he noted the news would probably blow up on social media — and he knows everyone is aware of his story. He prefers to be thinking about football and learning how to play safety. It was interesting, however, to hear him talk about how he feels obligated to not only the organization but the community now that he’s signed a deal. His well-being is going to be an ongoing storyline for as long as he plays with the Cards (and in the league for that matter) since one slip-up will generate news. So far, though, Mathieu has gone through a pretty routine rookie transition.
— On a somewhat related note, the Cardinals had $7.88 million of cap space prior to Mathieu signing. I’m not sure if his deal would put him among the top 51 contracts or not, which would be the only way it would impact the cap right now.
Tags: contracts, Tyrann Mathieu
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