NFL.com: Daryl Washington’s status one of the biggest mysteries as teams head to camp
It’s the story that everyone would like a resolution to, yet no one knows when that will come.
Thus far, Daryl Washington is not back with the Arizona Cardinals. Suspended for all of last season due to violating the league’s policy on substance abuse, it was thought that he would have been reinstated — and possibly suspended again due to other issues — by now.
But nothing has happened, and it’s why the folks over at NFL.com listed his situation as one one of the league’s biggest mysteries heading into camp.
Washington’s saga was listed along with that of Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell, with Gregg Rosenthal providing his insight.
Remember Daryl Washington? When he was indefinitely suspended last May, he was inarguably one of the most dynamic inside linebackers in football. That suspension, for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, was not related to an April 2014 guilty plea for aggravated assault charges. It’s unclear if and when he will be further suspended for that offense. Also suspended for the substance abuse policy in 2013, this is clearly not a guy the Cardinals are counting on for this season. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said recently there was “no change” to Washington’s status so it’s a mystery if he will even be allowed to play football this year.
Here’s what we know: It’s extremely rare for a player to be suspended two full seasons. And when you remove character concerns, Washington’s skill level will guarantee he’s playing somewhere once reinstated. He could be a big difference maker for a Cardinals team that has Super Bowl aspirations.
The other suspension everyone is ignoring happens to be regarding the best running back in the league last season. Steelers star Le’Veon Bell is “facing” a three-game suspension, but his appeal has not yet been heard. It’s unclear when he’ll be available for the season, yet it’s a story no one has focused on outside of Pittsburgh or fantasy draft rooms.
No doubt the Cardinals could use Washington, as the linebacker emerged as one of the best in the game during his time on the field. He appeared in 12 games in 2013, tallying 81 total tackles, three sacks and two interceptions. The year before that, he made the Pro Bowl after notching 140 total tackles, nine sacks and one interception.
However, no matter how talented a player is — and there’s no arguing the 28-year-old is talented — he is of little use to a team if he cannot be on the field.
And whether or not Washington will be is anyone’s guess, at least for now.