The timing of the release of this news is interesting.
No word as to why the investigation is still ongoing after all this time, but Lauren Piekoff, a reporter for the local NBC affiliate, tweeted earlier that Scottsdale PD has confirmed an investigation for sexual assault by Suns forward Michael Beasley is ongoing.
Just last week, star linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals Daryl Washington was accused and arrested for domestic violence.
Phoenix fans have never shown any sympathy or tolerance for athletes accused of violence against women or children. Every one of them, to date, has been quietly removed from the area via release or trade from the team.
Will the same happen for Washington and Beasley?
Washington just signed a six-year deal last year and rates as one of the best inside linebackers in the game. NFL player contracts are not fully guaranteed but releasing Washington would accelerate his signing bonus and create a hardship for the team to stay under the salary cap this season.
Beasley, on the other hand, is one of the worst performers on the Suns (putting in a historically bad season, in fact) and is under contract for "only" a guaranteed $9 million over the next two seasons. No matter what, the Suns would owe that money to Beasley. Six million is guaranteed next season and three million in 2014-15.
He could be released outright, which would apply those salaries to each year's cap "as is". Or he could be released with the new "stretch" provision, which would allow the Suns to spread the $9 over the next 5 seasons equally (just under $2 million per season).
For a team diving headfirst into the rebuild process, the outright release would make sense. Beasley would no longer influence the young players or the Suns image and would come off the books as soon as possible.