At first blush, it appeared that the decision to delay Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington’s $10 million option bonus from 2013 to 2014 came from his anticipated four-game suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy.
The move actually had much more to do with salary-cap management.
Per multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, the $10 million option bonus initially was due to be exercised by the last day of the 2013 league year. Under a new deal executed on March 12, it’s due on the first day of the 2014 league year.
So the delay was, in the end, one day.The one-day delay nevertheless created $2 million in 2013 cap space for the Cardinals. And it provided no additional financial protection for the Cardinals.
Under either version of the deal, Washington still needs to get through the 2013 season without having any additional violations of the substance-abuse policy to get the money.