It sounds like linebacker Daryl Washington will remain with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 after his substance abuse suspension is over.
Washington was suspended for at least a year last May under the league's substance abuse policy. He had previously been suspended four games in 2013 under the same policy.
Washington also has possible pending discipline for a guilty plea of aggravated assault related to a domestic dispute with the mother of his son.
Arizona Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill was on the air on Fox Sports 910 on Thursday with Mike Jurecki and Jody Oehler and made it clear that not only would Washington be back in Arizona, but the team would also address the linebacker position not knowing exactly how much he will be able to play next season.
"He'll be facing the issue with the domestic violence and there has been no determination of what happens there," Bidwill said. "He was only suspended for the drug issue, so we want to make sure we understand what that (other punishment) is. Last year, we learned about that suspension after free agency. This year we are going to plan to make sure we address all the issues not knowing whether Daryl will be back for part of next season or all of next season. ‘Next man up' is real but we have to make sure we've gone into free agency and addressed that situation."
The Cardinals have to prepare. Washington's drug suspension goes through May, which is after the beginning of free agency and and after the 2015 NFL Draft. Last year, the draft and the biggest part of free agency was over when Washington's suspension went down. Arizona was unable to adjust and had to work with the guys they had.
Bidwill's point is that they aren't going to sit around and wait. They aren't going to count on Washington's availability.
However, the one thing you can take from this is the Cardinals appear to be willing to have him back on the roster. Yes, he is an undeniable talent. But between the substance abuse and the domestic violence, it is surprising they aren't being at least coy about whether he will be back on the team next season. He has burned the team three times -- twice with the substance abuse and once with the assault.
Do you think Washington will be back? Should the Cardinals welcome him back again?