The Cardinals took a bit of a risk in drafting the troubled but talented cornerback out of LSU with the No. 69 pick. A Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011, Mathieu was kicked off the team by LSU coach Les Miles in preseason camp in August for failing multiple drug tests. He was arrested with three former teammates in October when police found 10 bags of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his apartment.
Tyrann was kicked off of LSU's team for marijuana use. He is a college student. Many college students do this. Most LSU students drink to excess. Because he behaved like a "regular college student", he was treated with prejudice and disdain, and ultimately with hypocrisy. Honey Badger deserved better.
This is the third time since October 2010 that Jones has been involved in an off-field incident in Cincinnati. He has at least seven other arrests and a dozen run-ins with police since entering the league as a first-round pick by Tennessee in 2005.
As for his time in Cincinnati, his first brush with the law followed a loss to Tampa Bay on Oct. 10, 2010. Jones was handcuffed and detained near Great American Ball Park after being involved in a traffic incident in which he drove his vehicle onto a crowded sidewalk. Cincinnati Police later apologized to him, saying Jones had done nothing wrong and that it was a communication breakdown between officers.
On July 10, 2011, Jones was arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated and resisting arrest outside Cincinnati nightclub Scene Ultra Bar. Six months later, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was placed on one year of probation, paid a $250 fine and court costs and did 50 hours of community service. The resisting arrest charge was dropped after Jones apologized to police.
He was suspended for the 2007 season by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for repeated violations of the personal conduct policy. He played one season in Dallas, sat out the 2009 season and signed with the Bengals in May of 2010.
Despite the off-field incidents, many feel that Jones has turned his career around. Last summer he spoke at the NFL Rookie Symposium about his experiences and is scheduled to do so again this year. Outgoing Cincinnati Chief James Craig has mentored the player, speaking highly of him.
“I’m at a point in my life where I’m not doing the same things that I used to,” said Jones during minicamp last season. “Now that I’m grown up you are accountable for certain things. Everything you do reflects on you, and the consequences are yours.”