Tyrann Mathieu Reveals Wild Thing Cardinals GM Told Him After Draft

Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans Saints
NFL Analysis Network

New Orleans Saints safety Tyrann Mathieu has established himself as one of the better defensive backs in football, but when he was first drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2013, he had some off-the-field issues that some were worried would follow him into the NFL.

Cardinals general manager Michael Bidwell was one of the people that was concerned.

During a recent appearance on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast, Mathieu revealed that when Arizona took him in the third round of the draft over a decade ago, Bidwell called Mathieu and told him that the Cardinals were going to draft him, but that they were also going to drug test him.

Mathieu was dismissed from the LSU football team in August 2012 for violating team rules, which created speculation that the star safety had failed multiple drug tests.

Then-LSU coach Les Miles would not confirm the reports, but when Mathieu checked himself into a drug rehabilitation center later on that month, people began connecting the dots. Then, in October, Mathieu was arrested for marijuana possession.

Mathieu ended up not playing any college football in 2012, which—coupled with his arrest—was the reason why he slipped to the third round of the NFL Draft that ensuing spring.

The 32-year-old has obviously turned things around and has forged a very successful NFL career, and he credits then-Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians with helping him along the way.

Mathieu spent the first five years of his career in Arizona, earning a Pro Bowl appearance and a First-Team All-Pro selection in 2015 after racking up 89 tackles, a sack, five interceptions, a forced fumble, 17 passes defended and a defensive touchdown. He then spent one season with the Houston Texans before joining the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019, where he helped the team win a Super Bowl.

The New Orleans native resided with the Chiefs for three years overall, making a couple of trips to the Pro Bowl while notching First-Team All-Pro honors two more times.

Mathieu then signed with the Saints in 2022 and has spent each of the last two years in the Bayou. He is coming off of a 2023 campaign in which he played every game and registered 75 tackles, four interceptions, nine passes defended and a defensive touchdown.

New Orleans went 9-8 and missed the playoffs this past season.

We’ll see if Tyrann Mathieu can continue his impressive play and help lead the Saints back to the postseason in 2024.

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