Cardinals LB Washington suspended for entire '14 season
MAY 30, 2014 12:16p ET
Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended for at least the entire 2014 season without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the NFL announced on Friday. Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 AM in Arizona first reported the news, citing an anonymous player.
“It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a team-released statement. "We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them. From a personal standpoint, 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 and we will certainly support him however we can.
“As it pertains to our team, our approach is the same as it’s always been: next man up. We talk a lot about how critical depth is to a team because situations always arise where you lose players, 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.”
The 6-foot-2, 238-pound linebacker must forfeit his base salary of $2.9 million and $100,000 workout bonus he was set to earn this year.
Washington, 27, played in 12 games in 2013 after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
"I recently learned that I had violations of the NFL Substances of Abuse policy related to marijuana," Washinton said in a statement released by his agent Jordan Woy. "The Policy is very strict, and I have chosen to take responsibility. I am committed to making changes in my life that will allow me to return to the NFL as soon as possible. I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape, and will work equally as hard to ensure that my life off of the field meets the high level of maturity and responsibility to which I am committed.
"I sincerely apologize for the effect of my actions on my teammates, coaches and other colleagues at the Cardinals. I also apologize to Cardinals fans for the time I will miss. I will work diligently during this suspension and will return as a better man and football player."
The Cardinals allowed Karlos Dansby to depart to Cleveland via free agency this offseason and signed veteran linebacker Larry Foote earlier this month. Multiple reports indicate that the team hosted Ernie Sims for a visit this week.
Washington was sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty to an aggravated assault charge on a female in April.
Washington was named to the Pro Bowl in 2012 and signed a six-year deal that same season. He finished with a career-low 75 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions in 2013.