Cardinals GM Keim: ‘There’s a lot of unknown’ with Daryl Washington
It has now been more than one week since the NFL conditionally reinstated Daryl Washington, yet time has done little to clear up his future.
In the days following the news, Cardinals GM Steve Keim said he did not have any time to think about anything other than the draft, so commenting on Washington was a fruitless venture.
“At the appropriate time, we’ll address that,” he said on April 27. “I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t put a lot of thought into it.”
The next day, following the press conference to introduce first-round pick Haason Reddick, Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher reiterated the idea that the team’s focus was on the draft, not Washington.
“To be honest with you, the best people to ask that for is Steve, Michael (Bidwill) and B.A.,” he said. “Talk to them about that question, that ain’t me.”
With the draft now in the rearview mirror, Keim may now allow himself to look into Washington, and his potential return to the team. But, as the GM told Adam Schein on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio Tuesday, they have not had any contact with Washington since he was suspended in May 2014 for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse.
“To be quite honest with you we have had dialogue with his agent, but have not had a chance to talk to Daryl yet, just because of how busy we’ve been,” he said. “We’ll tend to that in the near future and obviously get a chance to talk to Daryl and see what’s going on.”
While not the central issue regarding any success the Cardinals may or may not have in 2017, Washington’s status is certainly something to monitor.
A second-round pick out of TCU in 2010, he emerged as one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL, racking up 18 sacks along with 394 total tackles in four seasons. A Pro Bowl choice in 2012, he missed the first four games of the 2013 season due to a suspension but was an impact player once he returned.
Looking at this season, the Cardinals have veteran Karlos Dansby as well as Deone Bucannon in the middle linebacker spots, while Reddick could also play there. If after missing three straight seasons Washington could be anything close to his former self on the field, he would give the Cardinals another dynamic player.
Still, as of now there are far more questions than answers regarding the 30-year-old, which is why Keim and the Cardinals have plenty to look into.
“I don’t think there’s any question that there will be a sit-down with Michael Bidwill, our president and owner, myself and Coach (Bruce) Arians,” Keim said. “More than anything, just an educational briefing on ‘where you have you been the last three years; what’s going on in your life?’
“Once that meeting occurs there will be a decision made, and like I said, it’s been three years so the way the system’s set up right now, there’s a lot of unknown.”