Daryl Washington has been reinstated by the NFL. The 30-year old linebacker has not played a down since he was suspended for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy in May of 2014. The ban was tied to a marijuana violation. Washington has been suspended multiple times for substance abuse violations and had some legal issues in that time, serving 10 months probation for assaulting his girlfriend.
Washington issued a statement after his reinstatement:
I’m honored and humbled to be back in the National Football League. These last three years have been the most difficult of my life without the game I love so much. That said, I’ve used this time to make tremendous strides as a man and have grown into a proud husband, father and contributing member of my community. 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. I understand the physical and mental demands that it takes to be an All-Pro linebacker in this league, and I fully intend to play at that level this season.
Washington was reinstated last month, but didn’t meat with the Arizona Cardinals until today. Team president Michael Bidwell told Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio that: the team needed to process whether the linebacker could be part of their plans. It didn’t take long for them to figure it out as the team has released Washington and made the following statement.
After meeting with Daryl Washington, we have collectively decided it is best to release Daryl and give him the opportunity to continue his career elsewhere.
Washington responded with the following statement:
I want to thank the Cardinals organization, especially Mr. Bidwill and Steve Keim for drafting and believing in me, and their continued support. We’ve had some really positive and productive discussions this week, and at the end of the day we mutually agreed it was best for both sides to get a fresh start. I’m in the best shape of my life, and very much look forward to the next opportunity, where I will again play at an All-Pro level and help my team make a championship run.
The former Pro-bowl linebacker hasn’t been on the field since 2013 and the concerns over his substance abuse and the domestic violence history is likely going to make finding a new team improbable. I would say impossible, but often times a team gets into a desperate situation after a few injuries and someone like Washington would become very attractive as a stop-gap to get some guys healthy or a patch to keep playoff hopes alive. Necessity is the mother of second chances too.
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