Are we asking the right question about Daryl Washington?

Jul 15, 2015, 12:20 PM | Updated: 12:21 pm

In the Mel Gibson movie “Ransom,” the bad guy, Jimmy Shaker (played by Gary Sinise), is threatening to harm Gibson’s family if he isn’t given the ransom money he was promised. If Gibson tries to screw him over or involve the cops, Sinise promises Gibson will spend the rest of his life wondering in fear “is today Jimmy Shaker Day.”

I think of that line every time an announcement comes down from the NFL league office. Is today Daryl Washington Day?

I thought the Thursday before the Fourth of July weekend, when the NFL announced four different suspensions, might be Daryl Washington Day.

Or last week, when the Greg Hardy appeal results were released, might be Daryl Washington Day.

The guess here — and this isn’t exactly going out on a limb — is that if you eavesdropped on the conversations of 100 random Cardinals fans in a room somewhere, the main topic would be that of the suspended Cardinals linebacker.

By now you’ve likely gone over the Washington questions in your own head: When will he get reinstated, what is taking so long, how long will he be suspended for once he’s reinstated, will he appeal, how long will that take, do the Cardinals even want him back. And of course the big moral whopper — should the Cardinals want him back?

Here is the question that perhaps isn’t getting asked enough: Will Daryl Washington — the player — be worth all the fuss when he does come back?

On the surface it seems a silly question. The guy is a force of nature when he’s on the field. It’s easy to think that once Washington dons the jersey, just like that, presto-chango, he’s the wrecking ball he’s always been.

He missed all of last season, some of the year before. He hasn’t played in a professional football game since December of 2013. Hasn’t been practicing or working out with his teammates. Is it reasonable to assume he’s ready to be Daryl Washington after missing so much time?

It went down like that for Aldon Smith of the Niners. As pointed out in a story about Greg Hardy, Smith racked up 42 sacks in 43 games. But upon his return from a nine game suspension, he had two.

Cardinals fans may want the old Daryl Washington back, but the truth is no one is quite sure how close the new Daryl Washington will come to matching that.

And no one is quite sure if today, tomorrow or a week from today is going to be Daryl Washington Day.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz warms up ahead of practice Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyle...
Tyler Drake

Zach Ertz quickly immersing himself in all things Arizona Cardinals

One day after Zach Ertz became a Cardinal, he was off to Cleveland on board the team's plane, with QB Kyler Murray seated right next to him.
18 hours ago
Cardinals LB Zaven Collins. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

Texans-Cardinals injury report: Arizona nicked up at OL, LB and TE

The Cardinals are nicked up at tight end, on the offensive line and at linebacker as they prepare for Week 7 against the Houston Texans.
18 hours ago
Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) throws before an NFL football game between the Indianap...
Kevin Zimmerman

Davis Mills to start at QB for Texans vs. Cardinals, Tyrod Taylor still out

Texans starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor will not be ready to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Davis Mills gets another start.
18 hours ago
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 17: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass as he is h...
Haboob Blog

Kyler Murray confronted Myles Garrett over DE’s Halloween lawn decorations

"Why you got me in the graveyard, dog?" Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray asked Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett over his lawn ornaments.
18 hours ago
New England Patriots tight end David Wells performs field drills during an NFL football practice, T...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals sign TE David Wells to practice squad

It's a look at a tight end amid a rash of injuries that started two weeks ago when Maxx Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury.
18 hours ago
Matt Prater #5 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a field goal with teammates during the second qu...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals K Matt Prater’s game vs. Browns leads to player of the week nod

Matt Prater's 13 points were a season-high for the Cardinals on Sunday and in a 37-14 win bumped his season total to 56, most in the NFC.
18 hours ago
Are we asking the right question about Daryl Washington?