Ronald Darby got paid.
The cornerback agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Denver Broncos on Monday, leaving Washington after just one season. A year ago, Darby joined the team on a one-year, $4 million deal in hopes to restore his value after a few injury-plagued seasons in Philadelphia.
Darby was able to accomplish that. Though he failed to record an interception, the 27-year-old played well in defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s zone-based scheme — using his 5-foot-11 size to bat away 16 passes (his most since his rookie year in 2015). Primarily a man-to-man corner before joining Washington, Darby impressed coaches with how he transitioned to a new system.
Perhaps more importantly, Darby was able to stay healthy. He played in all 16 games for the first time in his career — a huge improvement from the previous three seasons, when he missed a combined 20 games.
Washington reportedly had an interest in retaining Darby, but the team faced competition in a thin cornerback market. Multiple reports indicated that Darby could possibly draw $9 million per year — and Darby actually agreed to a contract bigger than that.
Of the $30 million, $19.5 million of Darby’s contract is reportedly guaranteed.
ESPN first reported details of the contract.
With Darby leaving, Washington now has a sizable hole to fill at the position. The team is also expected to lose 2017 third-rounder Fabian Moreau in free agency. Darby started all 16 games across Kendall Fuller. Washington also has Jimmy Moreland and Greg Stroman under contract.
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