Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is facing a year-long suspension from the NFL, but the team doesn’t intend to cut ties with him at this point, says ESPN.com’s Ed Werder. According to Werder, there are two reasons the Cards won’t release Washington: The acceleration of dead money would increase the linebacker’s 2014 cap hit (from $6MM to $11.5MM) and the team would no longer be in position to recoup a portion of his $10MM option bonus.
As Werder explains, even though a prorated portion of that bonus applies to the cap in 2014, none of the $10MM has actually been paid yet. By keeping Washington on the roster through March, Arizona triggered that bonus, but Joel Corry of CBSSports tweets that it’s scheduled to be paid in three separate future installments. As such, the Cards will be looking to at least avoid paying the first $2.5MM installment which applies to the 2014 season, though it remains to be seen what happens with the rest of the bonus.
While the Cardinals attempt to recoup some of the money owed to Washington, the team will place the 27-year-old on the reserve-suspended list, writes Werder. In addition to potentially forfeiting $2.5MM in option bonus money, Washington is also expected to lose his $2.9MM base salary, $100K in workout bonuses, and about $457K in prorated signing bonus money.