The Arizona Cardinals were put in a rough situation with the Daryl Washington suspension. He is suspended for at least one year under the league's substance abuse policy, that just one season after receiving a four-game suspension under the same policy in 2013.
He will not play for Arizona in 2014, but that isn't even the worst part. The league still has not addressed the legal issues he had. After a domestic incident in 2013 that resulted in the mother of his child breaking her collarbone, Washington agreed to a felony plea deal in which he would serve no jail time and that would be reduced to a misdemeanor after successful completion of supervised probation.
Based on league history, felonies get around eight-game suspensions. So potentially he could have half of the 2015 season taken away. Of course, if it does get reduced to a misdemeanor, then the suspension could be less.
The question now remains, will the Cardinals even keep him around?
He had a $10 million roster bonus in March, half of which, according to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss, the Cardinals paid him. They are due to pay him the rest in 2015.
General manager Steve Keim's reaction to the suspension was, “It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position." That doesn't sound like a man who is pleased.
Head coach Bruce Arians said this last June:
“Well, it’s all up to him. He’s had double incidents and, as an organization, that throws a red flag up. But I think Daryl is a very bright young man who understands the mistakes he’s made and he’s walking a very thin line in the league right now. Super talented, but you have to adhere to the rules.”
Does that sound like a team that will welcome back Washington, even if he is one of the league?