The Arizona Cardinals signed inside linebacker Daryl Washington to a new six-year contract Thursday.

Washington, a second-round pick in 2010, led the Cardinals in tackles with 107, had five sacks and two interceptions. His new deal runs through the 2017 season.

"Two things that successful teams do consistently is build through the draft and keep their core players," general manager Rod Graves said in a statement.

"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."

Arizona moved up in the draft to select Washington and the Cardinals have been proactive re-signing their own players to long-term contracts before free agency enters the equation.

Last summer, the Cardinals signed wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to an eight-year, $120 million contract. In July, defensive end Calais Campbell and a consistent and reliable member of the old guard, safety Adrian Wilson, agreed to new deals. Campbell, a second-round pick in 2008, received $31 million guaranteed as part of his five-year, $55 million extension.

-- The Sports Xchange

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