Report: Cardinals have yet to give Washington any of his $10 million

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Earlier this year, Cardinals linebacker Darryl Washington earned a $10 million option bonus.  His contract contains a clause deferring $5 million to next year, which created the impression that Washington indeed has received the first half of the money.

According to Ed Werder of ESPN, Washington hasn’t gotten any of it, yet.

It could be a distinction without a difference, since Washington has technically earned the $10 million.  But because his one-year suspension compels the Cardinals to recover $2.5 million of it (and all of it, if he’s never reinstated), the process becomes a lot more efficient if Washington hasn’t gotten paid any of the money.

Indeed, there’s a good chance the Cardinals specifically opted not to pay the earned money after learning about the positive test that resulted in the one-year suspension.

As explained Friday, a one-year suspension actually tolls Washington’s contract, pushing the final four years from 2014 through 2017 to 2015 through 2018.  So while the Cardinals get $2.5 million back, Washington gets the opportunity to earn the money back by returning to the team and fulfilling the contract.

Before that becomes relevant, Washington must be reinstated.  If he is, he keeps the $7.5 million (barring another suspension), and he can re-earn the forfeited $2.5 million.  Based on the language of Appendix D to the substance-abuse policy, which sets forth the automatic procedures for signing/option bonus forfeitures (i.e., the Cardinals must seek repayment of the money; they have no option or discretion), Washington arguably must play under the terms of the contract through 2018 to get the $2.5 million back.

Even if he’s reinstated, it’s unlikely he’ll be a member of the Cardinals come 2018.  Based on his apparent inability to choose football over marijuana, it’s currently a worse-than-50-50 proposition that he’ll ever play for the Cardinals again, or anyone else.

15 responses to “Report: Cardinals have yet to give Washington any of his $10 million

  1. Why do NFL teams have the right to not honor contracts. His bonus was “on the roster on this date”.

    While I do nto condone Aaron Hernandez actions I do not see the Patriots rights to withhold $3.25 Million signing bonus money he earned. He is innocent until proven guilty and those funds can help him defend himself (Yes he is guilty, but I believe in our system)

  2. His positive drug test still doesn’t take into account his arrest for allegedly assaulting his child’s mother. Depending on how those charges pan out, I would think he could face further suspension from the league for violating the personal conduct policy. He may not put on an NFL uniform to play in a regular season game until 2016 at the earliest.

  3. What happens if the Cardinals cut ties with him completely using the “conduct detrimental to the team” out based on his legal trouble? His guilty plea came before the money was “earned”.

  4. “Why do NFL teams have the right to not honor contracts.”

    They do honor contracts. The individual player contract is governed by the parameters of the CBA between the NFLPA and NFL. That is where there are collectively bargained terms around how to handle player misconduct, etc…

    Believe you me, if there was a way to collect on that $10M immediately there would be a swarm of lawyers ready to help Mr. Washington get his $$$…and take their cut for helping him…

  5. Its required that teams get some protection from players behaving badly. There is no way you pay huge money out for someone suspended. Thus there are moral clauses in all the contracts.
    They have more to do about not being available to play – jail, suspended, etc than guilt or innocence.
    Unless this guy is a standout star, the Cards would be stupid to reinstate him and pay him his due.

  6. Washington has fawd and drug test and has ear guilty to assaulting a woman. That’s why he is not seeing the money. Hernandez has not yet been found guilty of breaking the law or NFL policy. Under the terms of NFL policy he probably should be able to get the money the Patriots owe him since they cut him. However, I enjoy the fact that the team is doing everything to not give him another dime.

  7. But it’s still not addictive. He threw $10 million in the garbage just because he felt like it, I guess.

  8. “it’s currently a worse-than-50-50 proposition that he’ll ever play for the Cardinals again, or anyone else.”

    Washington is too good of a player not to be signed by some team after the suspension(s) are completed.

  9. thingamajig, it’s not that a team won’t take a chance on him it’s more that his lifestyle will get in the way if his career. Ricky Williams retired cause he wanted to smoke but he eventually came back and had a paycheck for a few years.

  10. In 48 states testing positive for marijuana by definition means he has contacts in organized crime.

    You don’t want players on your team that are deliberately taking illegal drugs from organized crime that ruin the player’s body and brain.

    It is sabotage upon the team.
    No team should ever have to tolerate sabotage.

  11. Darn good football player, needs to up his personal life to the standards he has on field.

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