The 2013 Pro Bowler will not be in the clear right away if reinstated. He still is expected to receive discipline from assault charges he pleaded guilty to.
Washington has said he has done everything he needs to to be able to play in the NFL again, but according to Somers, "the Cardinals don't trust that Washington did all the right things during his suspension."
Washington will have to disclose how everything has gone since his suspension. He was to avoid the substance of abuse and any incidents he encountered them.
Even if the Cardinals don't trust he did what he was supposed to do for nearly the last year, it might be the smarter money move to keep him at least one more season. Somers noted Arizona already cut him a $5 million check. He had half of his $10 million bonus deferred, but the deferral wasn't tied to anything in his contract, which is why he was able to be paid during the suspension.
The team has addressed Washington's position, adding Sean Weatherspoon in free agency. If Washington does indeed return to the Cardinals, playing alongside Weatherspoon could give the Arizona defense the same dynamic it had for 12 games when Washington played with Karlos Dansby.
Initially, after hearing of the $5 million payment to Washington, it looked like the Cards were all set up to welcome him back. However, since it appears the bonus had to be paid regardless of his status with the league.
Will the Cards welcome Washington back? Will he be reinstated? If reinstated, how long will have to sit out again?