The Cardinals were clearly not pleased with linebacker Daryl Washington's year-long suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, writing in an unusually-terse statement that "It's completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position."
It appears general manager Steve Keim's unpleasant feelings about Washington's punishment haven't subsided. Asked about Washington by the Arizona Republic in a recent Q&A, Keim said:
"I would say of all our losses that Daryl Washington hurts the most," Keim said. "You can accept a player being injured because that's going to happen, but when off-field issues come about, those are unacceptable. You certainly can't plan for them, and I'll never be able to get over those kinds of consequences. Because one of the things we've tried to do over the years is to create a filter -- whether it's in drafting or signing free agents -- that we'll not only draft good players but good people, guys who carry themselves the right way off the field. If you're getting suspended in the NFL anymore, it means that you've been in trouble multiple times.
"And really at the end of the day, you're hanging out your teammates as much as anybody."
Washington was also suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the substance abuse policy, and you have to wonder if the Cardinals are considering not bringing him back for 2015 even though he's got three years left on his contract.
According to Keim, the team hasn't discussed whether Washington will return.
"The one thing I do know that's happened, since the suspension, we haven't talked about him for a minute," he said. "Out of sight, out of mind."
No matter how talented Washington is -- and he, at one point, was one of the best linebackers in the NFC -- those final six words aren't a great sign for his future employment in Arizona.