Coach Arians on Daryl Washington: Bidwill ‘will ultimately make the decision’
PHOENIX — If Daryl Washington is to once again don an Arizona Cardinals uniform, the process for it to happen began in earnest on Monday.
That is when he met with Cardinals president Michael Bidwill as well as GM Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians.
Wednesday morning, Bidwill went on various shows and essentially said Monday’s meeting was just the first step in a process that, hopefully, will be resolved “fairly soon.”
The meeting was important because it was the first time Cardinals brass had seen Washington since he was suspended in 2014, so if nothing else it offered a chance to catch up a bit and get an idea of where their former Pro Bowl player is at.
Aside from that, however, there was not much to be gleaned from what Arians described as a “good meeting.”
“Find out what he had been up to and what he had been doing,” Arians said Wednesday afternoon at Steak 44 in Phoenix.
Arians, who was on hand promoting the annual fundraiser he and his wife Christine host at the venue to benefit the Arians Family Foundation and Voices for Casa of Maricopa County, continued:
“Michael has a protocol set up, and as this thing goes forward, the Cardinals will make a decision and Michael will ultimately make the decision.”
An assistant U.S. attorney with the Department of Justice in Phoenix from 1990 to 1996, Bidwill’s approach to Washington — who was suspended after multiple violations of the league’s policy on substance abuse as well as a domestic violence incident — will certainly be something to keep an eye on.
If the Cardinals feel comfortable with Washington the person, then it’s possible they could be adding quite a player.
Now 30 years of age, Washington last played in the NFL in 2013. In 12 games he tallied 75 total tackles, with three sacks, two interceptions and 11 passes defensed. He was a Pro Bowler the prior season, in which he amassed 134 total tackles and nine sacks.
Once upon a time, Washington was one of the NFL’s most dynamic inside linebackers; now, who knows.
“We really have no clue what type of a player he is anymore,” Arians admitted. “As changed around as a person — he’s learned a lot of things, ups and downs — but that process will take care of itself.”
After all, while at the time of his conditional reinstatement Washington said, “Physically I’m in the best shape of my life and have maintained a strenuous six-day per week workout plan for over a year in anticipation of this day and next season,” he still has not been playing football.
“Yeah, you can lift weights all you want, but you ain’t chasing anybody around,”Arians said.
But if Washington proves to be remorseful and a changed man and if he shows he is in good enough shape to play football, would Arians have trouble welcoming him back into the fold? No doubt there are certain boxes the linebacker must check in order for the Cardinals to feel comfortable with his return, but if he checks them, will Arians?
“We’ll wait and see,” he said.
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