An NFL arbitrator ordered the Arizona Cardinals to pay $3 million to former executive Terry McDonough for "false and defamatory" statements the team made about him to the media, according to a decision filed in federal court on Monday.

In a 62-page decision dated March 29, Jeffrey Mishkin, the arbitrator appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, determined the Cardinals and their owner, Michael Bidwill, defamed McDonough "with malice" in a multipage statement to media organizations that accused McDonough of spousal abuse and neglect of his disabled adult daughter -- allegations McDonough has denied.