Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
AOL Favorites

NFL suspends Cardinals' Washington for 1 year

AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX (AP) -- The NFL has suspended Arizona Cardinals standout inside linebacker Daryl Washington for one year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The punishment, announced Friday, was for substance abuse and did not mention his recent guilty plea to assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

Washington, in a statement released by his agent, said the penalty was for marijuana, and that he takes responsibility for the violation. He said he "is committed to making changes" in his life that will allow him to return to the NFL.

Considered among the best in the NFL at his position, Washington was suspended the first four games of last season for violating the substance abuse policy.

"It is completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a statement released by the team. "We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them."

Washington, the team leader in tackles in 2011 and 2012, will lose $2.9 million in salary due to the suspension.

In March, Arizona exercised a $10 million option to keep him on the roster. Washington received $5 million then and the deals calls for him to get the other $5 million next March.

Washington said the NFL "policy is very strict, and I have chosen to take responsibility."

"I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape," he said, "and will work equally hard to ensure that my life off the field meets the high level of maturity and responsibility to which I am committed."

With the loss of inside linebacker Karlos Dansby to free agency, the Cardinals find themselves without the dynamic combination that was a big part of their strong defense last season.

Second-year player Kevin Minter is slotted to take Dansby's place. Just what the team will do to try to replace Washington is unclear.

"Our approach is the same as it's always been: next man up," Keim said. "We talk a lot about how critical depth is to a team because situations always arise whether by injury or other circumstances such as this one.

"One player's absence is another's opportunity. That approach has served us well in the past and we will rely on it now."

After leading the team with 111 tackles in his second NFL season, Washington signed a six-year contract, adding four years and $32 million to his existing deal.

In 2012, he led the team with career highs of 140 tackles and nine sacks and made the Pro Bowl. But in April of last year, the NFL suspended him four games for violating the substance abuse policy. A month later, he was arrested on accusations of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, the mother of the couple's child.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of assault earlier this year.

A suspension for the criminal conviction had been expected. The penalty for substance abuse came as a surprise to some, but apparently not to Washington's teammates.

"Old news to us, new news to y'all," defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said in a tweet.

Keim said "our hope is that this suspension will give Daryl the opportunity to accept the necessary help and guidance to get his life back on track," Keim said, "and we will certainly support him however we can."

When OTAs resumed this week, coach Bruce Arians said he hoped the team could pick up another outside linebacker.

The Cardinals signed veteran Larry Foote in the offseason, and outside linebacker Lorenzo Washington also can play inside.

Minter, a second-round draft pick, played almost entirely on special teams as a rookie.

Another player Arizona has at inside linebacker is Kenny Demens, an undrafted rookie free agent a year ago who spent last season on the Cardinals' practice squad.

"I sincerely apologize for the effect of my actions on my teammates, coaches and other colleagues at the Cardinals," Washington said. "I also apologize to Cardinals fans for the time I will miss. I will work diligently during this suspension to return as a better man and football player."

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Diane May 30 2014 at 4:46 PM

What a really stupid thing for him to do. Are there any intellengent players in the NFL or are they all drug addicts and abusers?

Flag Reply +15 rate up
6 replies
Tom May 30 2014 at 5:01 PM

Sounds like a total irresponsible jerk to me. I'd tell him to take his rear-end down the road.

Flag Reply +15 rate up
cgssnavickas May 30 2014 at 4:39 PM

Anger and substance abuse are no excuse for violent behavior.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
2 replies
Denver333 cgssnavickas May 30 2014 at 7:33 PM

???Then why do the courts take these factors into consideration when sentencing violent offenders? These factors mitigate, especially on first time offenses, the punishment mandated.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
jonclong Denver333 May 30 2014 at 8:11 PM

Read the article. This is not his first offence on failing the drug test. With all the slack given millionaire football players you wonder how many other "fails" were hushed up?

Flag +3 rate up
Mike cgssnavickas May 30 2014 at 9:04 PM

Two separate incidence. I doubt that he abused her while being stoned on weed.........unless it was over the last piece of pizza or if she flushed his last hits of 'train wreck' down the toilet.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
CREEPER May 30 2014 at 4:58 PM

You can take him out of the Ghetto. You know the Rest

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
Darin CREEPER May 30 2014 at 9:14 PM

I do! Its by Elvis:
People, don't you understand
the child needs a helping hand
or he'll grow to be an angry young man some day
Take a look at you and me,
are we too blind to see,
do we simply turn our heads
and look the other way

Well the world turns
and a hungry little boy with a runny nose
plays in the street as the cold wind blows
In the ghetto

And his hunger burns
so he starts to roam the streets at night
and he learns how to steal
and he learns how to fight
In the ghetto

Then one night in desperation
a young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car,
tries to run, but he don't get far
And his mama cries

As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto

As her young man dies,
on a cold and gray Chicago mornin',
another little baby child is born
In the ghetto

Flag Reply 0 rate up
3 replies
Brad CREEPER May 31 2014 at 8:44 AM

just like Obama you can take him out of the south side of Chicago, but the jive and false hoods are still there in him. Looks to me they are all genetically the same.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
jechandle Brad May 31 2014 at 10:49 AM

Pray tell us on what you base your assertion that you are genetically better somehow. Most obviously, and certainly it's not in an ability to employ logical thinking.
It's more likely that you have a high amount of Neanderthal DNA.
Here's something you can understand.

Flag 0 rate up
bennett975 May 30 2014 at 5:30 PM

Please, NFL, stop the hand slaps and make it loss of pay and lifetime ban from pro-football, not just for drugs but for any robbery, burglary, shoplifting, spousal abuse, drunk driving, murder, etc. If they end up pleading guilty or are found guilty of a crime, whether the original charge or reduced charge, done.

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
rodshiley71 bennett975 May 30 2014 at 5:40 PM

Then there would be no more football.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
amznrandy rodshiley71 May 30 2014 at 8:26 PM

There's always professional wrestling........

Flag +1 rate up
Robert Brooks rodshiley71 May 30 2014 at 10:05 PM


Flag 0 rate up
sean5129 bennett975 May 30 2014 at 7:56 PM

If someone used the "N" word they would be banned for life!
Role model standards sure have changed !!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
GUNSLINGER sean5129 May 31 2014 at 8:47 AM

The "N" word? "N-FL"?

Flag +2 rate up
seja0553 May 30 2014 at 5:54 PM

Let's see - $5 million now and $5 million later. Don't you just feel terrible for the JERK. They are ALL overpaid thuigs.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
rbell72981 May 30 2014 at 5:27 PM

Lifetime bans might start stopping all this BullS***. Give these thugs millions and they think anything is ok.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
3 replies
partsautomall May 30 2014 at 4:57 PM

I wonder why 95 percent of professional athletes declare bankruptcy after their career

Flag Reply +7 rate up
2 replies
David S. partsautomall May 30 2014 at 5:41 PM

Where did you get that statistic? Oh, yeah, from your head. Nowhere near 95%.....

Flag Reply +1 rate up
5 replies
jechandle partsautomall May 31 2014 at 11:05 AM

A philanthropic lumber baron from the early 1900s, in response to it being pointed out to him near the end of his life that he was broke said,
"Everything I have is all that I've given away."

Flag Reply 0 rate up
SMILEY May 30 2014 at 5:22 PM

"to return as a better man and football player." Well the bar can't be set much lower, shouldn't be too hard to come back better since buddy you're at rock bottom now...hope the Cards finally have had enough and cut this piece of ****

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
jechandle SMILEY May 31 2014 at 11:18 AM

Trust me, there are members of humankind that have committed far more despicable acts than this man. If you took a second, you could probably come up with at least 5 indisputable ones right off the top of your head.
Child molesters for instance.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
rjen164497 May 30 2014 at 6:04 PM

It's George Bush's fault. Washington has hired Jay Carney to be his press secretary. Only Jay Carney can lie with a straight face and get Washington out of his messes.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
2 replies
adjrk31697 rjen164497 May 30 2014 at 6:30 PM

He never had a straight face

Flag Reply 0 rate up
jonclong rjen164497 May 30 2014 at 8:13 PM

Carney just quit. Maybe Daryl has enough money left to hire him.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
aol~~ 1209600


More From Our Partners