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Cardinals’ Bidwill: Decision on Daryl Washington will hopefully come soon

The Arizona Cardinals finally met with Daryl Washington.

It was a conversation that was nearly three years in the making.

Conditionally reinstated by the NFL on April 25 after being suspended for nearly three years, Washington’s status is one of the more interesting storylines regarding the Cardinals at this point in time.

Last week, GM Steve Keim said they were anticipating having a meeting with Washington at some point in the future in hopes of learning more about what Washington has been up to and where his head is at, and it has been reported that the conversation took place on Monday.

On Wednesday, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill joined various shows to talk about his franchise, and the topic of Washington came up.

SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Alex Marvez and Mark Dominik asked Bidwill, point blank, what Washington would have to do in order to become a Cardinal again.

“Last week there were a lot of things going on, including in his life,” Bidwill said of finally chatting with Washington. “We want to go through a thorough process — we haven’t seen him, it’s actually been three years that he’s been suspended — and so we haven’t seen him in three years.

“To be able to get to know the person again and to get to know the player again, that doesn’t happen in a 30-minute meeting, so we’re going to go through a process and get to a decision here hopefully fairly soon.”

Washington last played in 2013, appearing in 12 games after missing the first four due to a previous suspension. He amassed 75 total tackles along with three sacks, 11 passes defensed and two interceptions. In 2012, he totaled 134 tackles along with nine sacks, four passes defensed and one interception, cementing his status as one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL.

A second-round pick out of TCU in 2010, Washington has career totals of 394 tackles, 18 sacks, 24 passes defensed, six interceptions and three forced fumbles.

But off-the-field issues derailed his career, with substance abuse and domestic violence leading to him missing games. The suspension he was recently reinstated from was indefinite, and it being lifted seemed to catch the Cardinals somewhat off guard.

After essentially moving on from a player who was once considered to be part of their core, there is a chance that Washington — now 30 years old — could don a Cardinals uniform once again.

As Bidwill told Marvez and Dominik, for that to go from possibility to reality, more will have to happen than a quick meeting this past week.

In fact, as Bidwill told Mad Dog Sports Radio’s Adam Schein, this is the first week the team has had to really focus on Washington and Monday’s meeting was just the beginning.

“There’s a lot that needs to go into this and our analysis because we haven’t seen him in three years,” Bidwill said. “So there’s a lot more process that we’re going to go through than just having a meeting.

“I think everybody’s got to be comfortable to put him back on the field, so we’re going to go through our process and hopefully have an answer, one way or the other, here soon.”

Schein followed up by asking Bidwill what, exactly, he needs to see from Washington.

“I don’t want to get into specifics with him, but this is the first time we’ve dealt with a situation like this,” he admitted. “I will speak generally: We need to know that this isn’t going to happen again, that he’s accepted responsibility for what happened and what he had done — and there were a couple of different things that had happened.”

Bidwill did not want to get into the specifics of what Washington did to earn the suspension.

“Just generally, I think we need to know that players accept responsibility, have addressed their issues in a therapeutic way which we know, professionally, that they’re going to be good to go moving forward,” he added. “And that we’re comfortable having him around. And also, when you’ve had a player off the field for three years, that’s a big deal.”

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