Cardinals’ Washington pleads guilty to aggravated assault

Daryl Washington is scheduled be sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court on April 23.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX (AP) — Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

Washington had a change-of-plea hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court, where he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Sentencing was set for April 23, although it wasn’t immediately clear what he could be facing.

Washington has started 53 games over four seasons for the Cardinals. He had nine sacks last season and led the team in tackles in 2012 with 140 while making the Pro Bowl.

A Cardinals spokesman said team officials would not be commenting on the Washington case because it is an ongoing legal matter.

Washington was suspended the first four games of last season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He could be facing additional discipline for the assault under the league conduct policy.

Washington had been facing an April 30 trial in the case after originally pleading not guilty to aggravated assault and trespassing charges.

He was accused of grabbing his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his daughter, by the throat and shoving her to the ground during an argument at her apartment last May. His ex-girlfriend told Phoenix police that Washington pushed her with two hands, causing her to fall and break her right collarbone.