The Cardinals have locked up another member of their defense for the near future.
The team announced Thursday that they have agreed to a six-year contract with linebacker Daryl Washington that will keep him with the team through the 2017 season. Washington, a 2010 second-round pick, had two years left on his rookie deal before signing the new contract with the Cards. Financial terms haven’t been disclosed, but it’s fair to assume that Washington will make more than the $1.065 million he was due to make on his rookie deal.
“Two things that successful teams do consistently is build through the draft and keep their core players,” Cardinals General Manager Rod Graves said in a statement. “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 blossomed into one of the best young inside linebackers in the league last season with 107 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions for the Cards. He joins defensive end Calais Campbell as Cardinals defensive starters with new contracts. Cornerback Patrick Peterson will probably get one before his rookie deal runs out in 2014 as the team builds the core to build the rest of the unit around in the next few years.