Tyrann Mathieu: Are the Bucs Interested in the Troubled Defensive Back?

J.J. RodriguezContributor IIFebruary 26, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Tyrann Mathieu #7 of the Louisiana State University Tigers reacts after breaking up a play against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Tyrann Mathieu, the troubled former star cornerback from LSU, is not only running toward his future in the NFL, but running away from the skeletons in his closet and the questions about his checkered past.

Mathieu was dismissed from the Tigers football team before the start of the 2012 season after multiple failed drug tests involving the use of marijuana.

After his dismissal, Mathieu spent time in a drug rehabilitation clinic in Houston in an attempt to clean up his life and get back on track to the NFL.

All of which led him to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, an opportunity for teams to scout and interview potential prospects.

Well, according to Bucs head coach Greg Schiano, count Tampa Bay among the teams that interviewed Mathieu this weekend.

The question is, are they really interested in landing the troubled defensive back?

Yes, Mathieu has talent, and surely he has the desire to prove people wrong, but is the potential he presents on the field, worth the problems that could arise off of it?

If GM Mark Dominik has shown us anything in his time at the helm, it's that he isn't afraid to take a chance on a player if he feels they check out.

Receiver Mike Williams fell into Tampa's lap in the fourth round after character concerns were raised following his midseason departure from Syracuse. The Bucs later claimed RB LeGarrette Blount off waivers after the former Oregon Duck went undrafted due to questions of his character.

Both gambles paid off for the Bucs, so does that mean Mathieu is next?

After all, he is human, and as such is prone to making mistakes. The difference is that the mistakes he made were well-publicized and scrutinized. Does he deserve a second chance? Absolutely. Everyone is entitled to an opportunity.

That said, it's no secret that Tampa Bay needs help in the defensive backfield, but should the answer to their biggest question mark involve the addition of another?

That's an answer only Dominik and Schiano can provide.


Twitter Button from twitbuttons.com  

You can reach J.J. by e-mail at BRJJRodriguez@gmail.com