And so the Daryl Washington saga is over.
The Cardinals released him Thursday, just ahead of the official signing of Blaine Gabbert and just ahead of the rookies starting to report. It seemed like it might take longer to come to a decision, but it didn't. Washington said in a statement that a fresh start was good. Mike Jurecki tweeted that Washington told him he didn't want to play for the league minimum salary, which fits the time line. I would've guessed that was a prerequisite -- the Cardinals weren't going to just ride with Washington's current deal.
Regardless, we're basically back to where we were three weeks ago, when Washington was still suspended. As I have noted, I was surprised about a lot of this because I didn't think there was a chance he would play for the Cardinals again. Turns out, Washington will not. We'll all watch to see what happens with his career. I know many fear Washington signing with another NFC West team and haunting the Cards. He's still missed three years of football. At this point, it's impossible to predict anything. As long as he's around somewhere, I guess someone will still shoot me DWash questions. But it won't be about his future with the Cardinals. That's done.
-- Washington will count $1.875 million in dead cap space, according to multiple cap sites. He was due to make $2.9M in salary with another $100,000 in workout bonuses (which I'm not sure he would've qualified for by now), but that would save $3M in cap room off his contract. He has no dead money beyond this season, meaning they are clear of anything Washington-related after 2017.
-- There is a lot of debate about whether Washington deserved another chance with the Cards. (I won't say a second chance because I'm not thinking this would've been No. 2). There are legitimate arguments for both sides. But that it came to this result can't really shock anyone, no matter what side you might argue.
-- Speaking of debate, the Gabbert signing has sparked a lot. Nationally it seems to be a touchpoint about the future of Gabbert's former teammate Colin Kaepernick and why Kaepernick hasn't gotten signed. But with the Cardinals, it's about where Gabbert fits. That's TBD, but it can't really hurt to have Gabbert around. See what he has, whether he makes more sense to have around than Zac Dysert or Trevor Knight. (As I said yesterday, I don't see Gabbert supplanting Stanton. Not this year.) And don't lose sight of the fact the Cardinals want to make sure Palmer doesn't overextend himself before the season. Having another arm is important in that regard.