Daryl Washington's presence has been felt on the field in recent weeks at the Arizona Cardinals' OTAs and three-day mandatory minicamp. However, it's what's transpired off the field this offseason that has many concerned about the Pro Bowl linebacker's future heading into the 2013 season.
Washington, who led the Cardinals with 140 total tackles and nine sacks in 2012, was suspended back in April without pay for the first four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. But the trouble didn't end there for the 26-year-old.
On May 3, the former second-round pick out of TCU was arrested and booked on two counts of aggravated assault following an incident that occurred May 1 with his ex-girlfriend.
According to the police report, Washington's ex-girlfriend claimed the Cardinals linebacker grabbed her by the throat and shoved her to the ground following an argument. She suffered bruises along with a broken clavicle.
"Obviously there's an unfortunate situation, but all I can do right now is come out here and work as hard as I can and let everything else play out," Washington told reporters May 14 regarding the incident.
He pleaded 'not guilty' to assault charges on May 20, and will next appear in court on July 3.
While Washington and the Cardinals organization wait for the legal situation to play itself out, the question regarding his potential long-term absence is one that simply won't go away.
Tuesday night, Bruce Arians was a guest on SiriusXM Radio's Late Hits with Alex Marvez and former NFL executive Bill Polian, and the Cardinals head coach was asked whether or not he believes Washington will get on the field at some point in 2013.
"It's all up to him," Arians said. "He's had double incidents, and as an organization that throws a red flag out. But I think Daryl is a very bright young man who understands the mistakes he's made.
"He's walking a very thin line in the league right now. He's super talented, but you have to adhere to the rules."
Although any extended absence from Washington will certainly be felt on the defensive side of the football, in light of his recent run-in with the law, the team went out and found itself a bit of an insurance policy in Karlos Dansby. The former Cardinal signed a one-year deal to return to the Valley on May 10.