From Comcast SportsNetTEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals and inside linebacker Daryl Washington have agreed on a six-year contract.The Cardinals had targeted the third-year pro throughout training camp as the next player to get a new deal. A second-round draft pick -- 47th overall -- out of TCU in 2010, Washington led the team in tackles last season with 111."I feel really good, really good," he said after practice on Thursday. "I'm glad it was able to get done before the season, sooner than later. I feel real good about the decision, about my agent Jordan Woy and the organization. I told them I wanted to be here for a long time and I'm glad it got done."Terms weren't disclosed but the deal contains guaranteed money, a pay raise over the next two seasons with a team option bonus in 2014.Washington, known for his extreme speed at a critical position in Arizona's 3-4 scheme, had 16 tackles for loss last season, the most by an Arizona player since 1995. He was one of five players in the NFL in 2011 with at least five sacks and two interceptions.He had two years left on the contract he signed as a rookie."It just shows they believe in me, they believe in my talent," Washington said. "It shows the kind of person I am, the kind of character that I have. I'm just excited right now, very excited."He joins defensive end Calais Campbell as players who signed long-term deals with Arizona in recent months."It just shows that they've got two potential great players for a long period of time," Washington said. "We're looking to really take over the defense and really show the organization that we're worth the pay."He said the contract does not create more pressure for him to prove he's worth it."It's more of a challenge," Washington said, "to go out there and play as well as they expect me to play. But I expect that of myself."Coach Ken Whisenhunt said "it's great when you have a young player that has made the strides that Daryl has.""We thought highly of him before we drafted him and he certainly hasn't let us down," Whisenhunt said, "so to know that he's going to be here for a number of years was a great thing."Washington has plenty of room for improvement."I think to continue on that upward scale is the next step for him," Whisenhunt said. "He learned the defense, understood what he had to do in the defense. He's been an explosive player, a fast player. When he knows what he's doing he's hard to block with the speed that he's got. He's all over the place and I think that just getting more and more comfortable in this defense and understanding where he has to be, he can get there fast, and that helps."The Cardinals had their eye on Washington throughout his college career "on a very good defense" at TCU, the coach said."For the fit in what we're trying to get done defensively, he has all the things that you like to see," Whisenhunt said. "He's smart, he's fast, he thumps a lot more than you think he would based on his size (6-foot-2, 230 pounds). He can cover, he can get down the field. All those things to play that linebacker position, a three-down linebacker, make him very valuable."Just his work ethic, that's one of the things that you look for in some of these young players, if they're going to be a leader, if they're going to be one of the guys that you count on defensively, they've got to be the right kind of guy, and Daryl is that."He is among five players from Arizona's 2010 draft class who will start in Sunday's season opener against Seattle.Campbell was elated to see Washington get the deal."He deserved it. He's definitely a great player," Campbell said. "I'd love to play with him a lot of years because he's going to make me look good and make all kinds of plays."Campbell said the Cardinals were smart to sign Washington now because he would have been a lot more expensive after this season."Because he's going to have a great year," Campbell said. "I'm predicting him to be All-Pro."
Here is my weekly look at playing time for the Redskins during their win over the Raiders:
—Defensively, the Redskins were in nickel a lot. Slot corner Kendall Fuller played 46 of the 51 defensive snaps. That generally means that they are playing fewer defensive lineman and indeed, nose tackle Ziggy Hood played only 18 snaps.
—Junior Galette played only 15 snaps, down from 19 against the Rams. He did get half a sack.
MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM THE REDSKINS' WIN
—It was surprising to see that Preston Smith got only 23 snaps. That is by far a season low but it’s hard to argue with the strategy. He was very effective with his limited snaps, getting a sack and tackling Marshawn Lynch for no gain on a third and two play.
—Rookie OLB Ryan Anderson is getting worked into the lineup more and more. He got 24 snaps on defense, one more than he had in the first two games combined, and another eight on special teams.
—The two defensive players who were in for 100 percent of the 51 defensive snaps were S D.J. Swearinger and ILB Zach Brown. CB Josh Norman played 47 snaps and ILB Martrell Spaight, Fuller, and CB Bashaud Breeland played 46 each.
—On offense, Josh Doctson (36) got more playing time than Ryan Grant (34) for the first time this year.
—Between Kirk Cousins and the five starting offensive linemen, only Shawn Lauvao missed any of the 68 plays run. Lauvao came out for one play to have his helmet fixed.
—TE Jeremy Sprinkle made his NFL debut, getting seven snaps.
—Besides Colt McCoy, the only player who was active who did not get into the game was rookie ILB Josh Harvey-Clemons.
A week from today, the 2017 MLB postseason is scheduled to take off with the American League Wild Card game.
Still with six or less games remaining for every team, there is little that we know in terms of the exact positioning of each team in the postseason.
As of Tuesday morning, there are seven teams that are guaranteed to be in the playoffs. Three spots, the NL Central and a Wild Card spot in each league, are still up for grabs.
RELATED: IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE WILD CARD RACE
Besides the NL Central, only the AL East is the other division that has not announced a division winner.
Also up for grabs is overall home field throughout the World Series. Without the MLB All-Star Game determining who starts as the host of the series, whichever team finishes with a higher record will have home field. That race is alive and well.
Right now it is the Los Angles Dodgers (100-57), who have leveled out after a rough August stretch, that leads the charge. Right behind them is the Cleveland Indians (1.5 GB), the Houston Astros (3.5 GB) and the Washington Nationals (4.5 GB). Surprisingly enough the Nationals face the easiest competition against the Phillies and Pirates to end the season. It will be tough for the Dodgers to keep up the pace finishing the season playing the Rockies who are still trying to claim the second NL Wild Card.
For the final three remaining postseason spots, there are nine teams mathematically alive as of Tuesday morning.
Since the last bracket update on September 22, the New York Yankees have clinched a postseason spot and the Arizona Diamondbacks have clinched the top Wild Card spot in the National League.
Leveling out and winning five of their last 10, the Dodgers are limping into the playoffs. Ultimately, with no push from the Nationals, Los Angeles will go on to claim the top spot in the National League.
With that, the Nationals will be regulated to second place as they have been resting their top players for over a week. Still the team is waiting for Bryce Harper to come back from what could have been a devastating injury. He is expected to be back in the line-up at some point this week.
Having a scary schedule to end the season, the Chicago Cubs (88-68) took care of business winning three of four against the Brewers this past weekend. It has garnered a magic number of now one for Chicago to claim the division and also the No. 3 seed in the postseason.
MORE NATS: WOULD YOU RATHER TAKE THE CUBS OR BREWERS?
The Arizona Diamondbacks are the only team in the postseason to know their fate once the season ends. They will be hosting the National League Wild Card Game on Oct. 4, clinching the first Wild Card spot.
Essentially, the only race in the National League is for the second Wild Card. Colorado holds the edge but only slightly as they play the Marlins and then host the Dodgers to end the year. The Brewers (1.5 GB) and Cardinals (-2.5 games) stay alive but have to win and hope for the Rockies to lose. Click here for an in-depth look at the NL Wild Card race.
If the season were to end today, here is how the National League bracket would look:
Wild Card Round (Winner-take-all):
No. 5 Colorado Rockies (84-73) at No. 4 Arizona Diamondbacks (90-67)
National League Divisional Series (Best-of-5):
No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers (100-57) vs. Wild Card Round Winner
No. 2 Washington Nationals (95-61) vs. No. 3 Chicago Cubs (88-68)
Wild Card Race:
Colorado Rockies: ---
Milwaukee Brewers: -1.5
St. Louis Cardinals: -2.5
Every year it seems that as the season comes to a close, the American League East is still up for grabs. Both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have already clinched a playoff spot, but with New York’s win and Boston’s loss on Monday, the race has opened up once again. It ultimately will be the difference between the No. 3 seed and the Wild Card play-in game, but likely the Red Sox are not going to relinquish the division crown.
Both the Indians (AL Central Division Winner) and the Astros (AL West Division Winner) now have a heated battle for the top seed in the American League. Neither team appears to be conceding to rest players either. The lead for Cleveland is currently at 2.0 games. The remaining schedule favors the Indians as the Astros face the Rangers and the Red Sox to end the year, all on the road.
By the end of the night, the Minnesota Twins, who have a magic number of two, could wrap up the second Wild Card. A win over Cleveland and a loss by the Angels against the White Sox is all they need to clinch a postseason berth. The only saving grace for Los Angeles is that the Twins do have a three game series with Cleveland who has won 29 of their last 31. Click here for an in-depth look at the AL Wild Card race.
If the season were to end today, here is how the American League bracket would look:
Wild Card Round (Winner-take-all):
No. 5 Minnesota Twins (82-74) at No. 4 New York Yankees (87-69)
American League Divisional Series (Best-of-5):
No. 1 Cleveland Indians (98-58) vs. Wild Card Round Winner
No. 2 Houston Astros (96-60) vs. No. 3 Boston Red Sox (91-65)
Wild Card Race:
New York Yankees: +5.0
Minnesota Twins: ---
Los Angeles Angels: -5.0
Texas Rangers: -6.0
Kansas City Royals: -6.0
Tampa Bay Rays: -6.0
All records and standings are as of Thursday morning at 9:00 am.