What money says about risk assessment

Top NFC West ILB Contracts

We have at times debated where the Arizona Cardinals' Daryl Washington should rank among NFC West inside linebackers.

Four of them have signed contract extensions. The chart breaks down those contracts by average per year (APY) and guaranteed money.

Washington ranks a distant fourth in guaranteed money.

Perhaps that should have told us something about risk factors the Cardinals were considering when they struck the extension last season. Washington, set to serve a four-game suspension to start the 2013 season, already would have been in the NFL's substance-abuse program at that point. I don't know what the team knew or when the team knew it, but the gap in guaranteed money for Washington and other top inside linebackers is significant.

Earlier: Ramifications of suspension.