NFC West News: Arizona Cardinals Lock Up Daryl Washington Through 2017 and More
Just yesterday I touched on defensive end Calais Campbell and his monster offseason contract extension, and now Mr. Bidwell goes out and extends another core piece of the Cardinals 3-4 defensive scheme.
Daryl Washington is no stranger to success, it's ultimately what made him a second-round draft selection out of TCU. Since joining the Cardinals in 2010, Washington has made an impact both on and off the field.
In two seasons as a starting inside linebacker, he's piled up 185 tackles, six sacks and one forced fumble. The statistical gurus over at Pro Football Focus had him rated as their tenth best inside linebacker in 2011 and eleventh best in 2010.
Arizona's general manager Rod Graves had this to say when questioned about Washington and the contract extension (via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com):
Two things that successful teams do consistently is build through the draft and keep their core players. 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.
After two solid top 10 seasons as an inside linebacker, I fully expect Washington to take that next step into the elite category. It shouldn't surprise you if you see him being mentioned in the same sentence as studs Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
Let's take a look at the rest of the news the NFC West has to offer.
Kevin Bonneville of the Examiner.com takes a look at Forbes list of most valuable NFL franchises. Arizona ranks 25th on the list with a value of 922 million.
John Degroote of Bleacher Report breaks down the five players who must play a huge role in Week 1.
San Francisco 49ers
Cam Inman of the MercuryNews.com talks about the 49ers defense and how they are preparing for the Packers spread offense.
Jesse Reed of Bleacher Report looks at the individual match ups that will determine the outcome of Sunday's game.
Darin Pike of Bleacher Report takes on the daunting task of predicting each of the Seahawks 16 regular season games.
John Boyle of the Herald Net examines defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and his winning style.
St. Louis Rams
Steven Gerwel of Bleacher Report gives us five keys to Sunday's game against the Lions.
According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams rookies remain a mystery until they hit the field on Sunday. Sunday, St. Louis will deploy the youngest team in the NFL against Detroit.
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