Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians doesn’t seem to be too keen on the idea of welcoming back linebacker Daryl Washington once he’s reinstated from a year-long suspension.
Speaking about the possibility of Washington returning to the club, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year had this to say (via The Arizona Republic):
“I don’t lose one minute’s sleep or even think about it. Until he (Washington) becomes a Cardinal again, it’s a waste of breath.”
Washington, one of the most talented inside linebackers in the NFL, has a laundry list of off-field issues since entering the league in 2010. He was suspended the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. One month later, Washington was arrested for aggravated assault on his then girlfriend—charges he eventually pleaded guilty to. He then violated the substance abuse policy again last May, resulting in a year-long ban from the NFL.
While the former Pro Bowl performer is eligible to be reinstated, he still faces another suspension as a result of his guilty plea on the domestic violence charge.
It’s an interesting situation for the Cardinals. Arians acknowledged that Washington has the support of teammates. He also doesn’t seem too willing to just welcome the much-maligned linebacker back on to the roster. In addition to this, the NFL-mandated suspension that Washington receives will play a large role here. While the linebacker’s domestic violence situation happened under the old personal conduct policy, the league recently used a retroactive policy in the Greg Hardy case.
In reality, the Cardinals’ front office might be prepared to move on from Washington. The team signed Sean Weatherspoon away from the Atlanta Falcons in March. It also selected Kevin Minter in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. Both are slated to start when the 2015 season comes calling.
Washington, a Pro Bowler back in 2012, has racked up nearly 400 tackles, 21 passes defended and six interceptions in the four seasons that he’s actually seen the field. He was also inked to a four-year, $32 million extension back September of 2012.
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