Daryl Washington trial comes after bonus is due

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals will have a $10 million decision to make soon.

There is one lingering issue this offseason that will affect the present and future of the team, especially the defense. Linebacker Daryl Washington is due a $10 million bonus in March. Based on play alone, this is a no-brainer. The problem is that there are legal issues pending and the team will have to make a financial decision before his legal problems are resolved.

Washington was arrested last offseason after being involved in a domestic dispute with the mother of his child. He has since entered a plea of not guilty and his trial date is finally set.

According to Fox Sports Radio 910's Mike Jurecki, the trail date is set for April 30. What happens with Washington after the trial is uncertain. It is possible there could be a plea agreement beforehand or it could go to trial, where things could go either way. There are those who are familiar with the case that believe that it does not look good for Washington, which could mean jail time, which would potentially make him unavailable for the team.

Last offseason, there was a restructuring of Washington's contract that pushed the $10 million bonus back to March 2014.

The question is whether the team will pay him and hope he is available, or cut him before it is due.

Of course, if they pay him and he ends up going to jail, that would hamstring the team financially. If they cut him and he ends up not having to serve any jail time or miss any part of the season, then they would be losing one of the best young linebackers in the game.

The Cardinals, though, are in a decent situation. With Kevin Minter in the wings and Karlos Dansby, they could potentially let Washington go, assuming they could re-sign Dansby. Dansby is on the record as saying he feels he can produce like he did in 2013 for three or four more years. Dansby and Minter would be a great combo on the field.

Should the Cardinals take the gamble, paying him the money he is due? Should they try to push that bonus back again? Should they just cut ties? A possible return of Dansby makes this a possibility.

What should the Cardinals do and what do you think will happen?

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