The recent suspension of Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington for the entire 2014 NFL season and the news that Washington will be placed on the reserve-suspended list has given rise to talk around how the NFL handles the usage of marijuana and whether or not it should be taken off the league’s list of banned substances.
NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah told Bickley and Marotta Monday afternoon on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. that many around the league think that the NFL’s attention should be focused more on eliminating performance enhancing drugs instead of marijuana which is slowly gaining more momentum to legalize around the country. Colorado and Washington state already have laws on the books allowing citizens to legally carry small amounts the drug. Jeremiah himself took the opposite stance.
“The rules are what they are and to me it’s just tough to fathom how you would jeopardize everything to make the decision that these guys have made,” Jeremiah said. “It’s not too difficult I wouldn’t think to abide by them.”
In April 2013, Washington was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. In May 2013, Washington was arrested and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after pushing his ex-girlfriend in an altercation over their five-month-old child.
According to a report by ESPN’s Ed Werder, the Cardinals will put Washington on the reserve-suspended list in order to try and reclaim a $10 million option bonus on his contract.
“The difficult thing and the advantage he (Cardinals general manager Steve Keim) has in this situation is that Steve Keim has the chance to be around him and find out what he’s all about and to listen to him and speak with him about what happened here and if he’s comfortable that, there is a game plan going forward that this doesn’t happen again,” Jeremiah said.
Washington was drafted by the Cardinals with the 47th pick in the 2010 NFL draft. He has started 53 of 59 games in his NFL career with the Cardinals collecting 325 total tackles and 18 sacks.
If the Cardinals eventually decide to release Washington, Jeremiah is convinced that another team will quickly pick him up and take a chance on the 2012 All- Pro and 2013 Pro Bowl selection.
“You’re talking about a player with a very very rare skill set for the position,” Jeremiah said. “He is a rare talent and if he does get cut loose then he won’t be on the market for very long.”