Every team has concerns in the offseason as OTAs are in full swing. Some are major concerns. Some are less so. Rivers McCown, writing for Bleacher Report, put together what he thinks are the biggest concerns for each NFL team.
He believes the Daryl Washington situation is the biggest for the Arizona Cardinals.
"Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington" is more of a theory than an actuality at this point. After being suspended for the entirety of last season due to violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, Mike Jurecki of 910 AM Phoenix reports that Washington is "not aware where he stands right now" with the league.
Depending on what commissioner Roger Goodell rolls on his d10 of Arbitrary Suspension, there's a chance that Washington may not be available for the Cardinals before October. Or possibly later, if he gets an additional suspension because of the personal conduct policy.
The Cardinals survived Washington's absence well last season, but they don't have a linebacker with his combination of pass-rush ability, coverage skills and tackling. They took a flier on oft-injured linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, but the rosiest scenario is one in which both of them are flying to the ball together.
It is certainly an issue, but the Cardinals seem to have moved on. At this point, they aren't counting on him. This is why they brought in Weatherspoon and gave him the keys to the defense, so to say. They still have Kevin Minter and brought in a stable of young, speedy inside linebackers. Plus, Deone Bucannon can still play the dollar linebacker position he played last season.
Washington is the least of the Cardinals concerns.
They have to think about Carson Palmer and his recovery. Can Jonathan Cooper bounce back and actually play? Can Justin Bethel develop as a corner? If he doesn't, the cornerback depth is suspect. What about the running game and whether Andre Ellington will be more of his 2013 version or his 2014 version? Can James Bettcher call a defense in his first year as defensive coordinator? Will they be able to get to the quarterback?
All of those matters are more pressing than Washington. He has not been reinstated yet and is likely to miss more time after he is brought back.
Out of sight, out of mind. Washington really isn't much of a concern at all.