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Daryl Washington shines in ugly Cardinals loss

While the Arizona Cardinals decided not to show up on Sunday against the Bills, one player managed to play well. Daryl Washington continues to show why he is one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

Norm Hall - Getty Images

Daryl Washington for Defensive Player of the Year. Or, at least, a Pro Bowl selection.

Yeah, I said it. Washington leads the Arizona Cardinals in sacks, tackles, forced fumbles and basically any other defensive category a player can be great in. That is why the team rewarded him with a new contract that will keep him in the desert through 2017. Oh, and they gave him his new deal just two years into his rookie one.

Washington continued to show why he is such a special player on Sunday as the Cardinals fell to the Bills, 19-16. He had 14 tackles, which led all players, and another forced fumble on the first play from scrimmage. He also had a tackle for loss and managed to keep the Bills from completely running over the Cards.

Any time a play is to be made, you can guarantee Daryl Washington will be somewhere around the ball. As one of the fastest linebackers in the entire league, Washington plays from sideline to sideline, making tackles on receivers, running backs in the flat and tight ends. He can play downhill, as well, getting sacks and tackles in the backfield.

If you want him to play in coverage, he can do that, too. Special teams? Sure. Want him to play a position other than linebacker? Maybe have him deep as a safety? No problem.

Take this video, for example. James Sanders recovered the ball against the Eagles after Michael Vick fumbled and took it all the way back for a TD. Who is the player you see running faster than everyone else, trying to make a block for his teammate? #58, Daryl Washington.

He is a complete player and one of the core pieces to this team. Not only do I believe he is the best defensive player they have, but I think he might be the most valuable due to his age, contract and playing ability.

The sky is the limit for young Mr. Washington. What will he do next?