The Cardinals announced Thursday that they have agreed to terms with ILB Daryl Washington on a new six-year contract that keeps him under contract with the team through the end of the 2017 season.
Washington, who is in his third NFL season after entering the league as a second-round pick in the 2010 draft, had two years remaining on his rookie contract. In accordance with club policy, terms were not disclosed.
“Two things that successful teams do consistently is build through the draft and keep their core players,” GM Rod Graves said. “Daryl has certainly lived up to the potential we all saw in him coming out of TCU in 2010 and he has established himself as one of the top young defensive players in the NFL. I know he feels, like we do, that his best football is still ahead of him and we’re thrilled that this deal gives him the opportunity to achieve that with the Cardinals.”
Washington led the team with 111 tackles (100 solos) last season. He also added five sacks, 16 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and seven passes defensed while playing in 15 games (14 starts). He was also one of just five players in the NFL last season with at least five sacks and two interceptions (Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs, Patriots OLB Rob Ninkovich, Packers OLB Clay Matthews, and Jets ILB David Harris).
The way we see it
This is not a surprise at all. The Cardinals think he's going to be a cornerstone on a young defense for a long time to come. As a key part of a group of impressive young linebackers, he was a top priority to lock up for the long term.