We've also read why now is clearly not the time to do so.
We all understand that "Next Man Up" is, A) the new sports cliché (mercifully replacing "It is what it is") and B) certainly applies in this circumstance.
The fundamental problem here is that the Cardinals must now replace their most irreplaceable player.
Quick, name a player more valuable than Washington. Patrick Peterson? Calais Campbell? Larry Fitzgerald? Carson Palmer? If I were making a Guys-I-Can't-Lose list, Daryl Washington would be at the top.
It's not meant as a slight to anyone else on the field. Football teams fail and succeed because of the collective effort, not the individual. Players work in concert with each other to make plays and win games.
Yet I'm not certain there is another player on this roster whose absence affects that roster more than Washington. Speed. Instincts. Versatility. You just don't have anything close in terms of an in-house or out-house solution to replicate that.
ESPN Stats and Info points out that Washington is the only player in the NFL with 300 tackles and 15 sacks over the last three seasons.
To compensate, the Cardinals might have to undergo a minor reinvention.
The key to winning football games in Washington's absence won't fall on the recently-signed Ernie Sims. Or Larry Foote or Kevin Minter. It will fall on Palmer and Fitz. Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington. Palmer was quick to point out that the Cardinals' defense carried this team last year and now it was time for a little quid pro quo.
The defense still has plenty of impact football players. But without the guy in the middle (literally and figuratively), the very identity of this team has to change.
- Burns: Replacing most irreplaceable player
- Cardinals forced to march on without Washington
- Wolf: Next Man Up
- Cards will place Washington on reserve-susp. list
- The Pulse: Washington 'deserved' suspension
- Marotta: Wouldn't want to be Keim right now
- Gambo: Cardinals need to cut Washington now
- Analyst: Washington 'ultimate in selfishness'
- Clayton: Cardinals can still be a playoff team
- Dockett tweets about Washington suspension
- Franz: Cardinals should cut ties with Washington
- Washington suspended for entire 2014 season
- Report: Free agent LB Sims pays visit to Cards
- Daryl Washington releases statement
- I don't like it but I sure do get it
- It's scary to think about what the loss of Darnell Dockett means to the Arizona Cardinals
- Being first is an important step for the Arizona Cardinals
- LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony: Phoenix Suns are right to aim high, but...
- How do the Cardinals replace their most irreplaceable player?