Cardinals LB Daryl Washington suspended one year

Daryl Washington was suspended a year for violation of the substance-abuse policy.
Daryl Washington was suspended a year for violation of the substance-abuse policy. (USATSI)

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The NFL suspended Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington a year for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

The league announced the suspension Friday and it begins immediately. Cardinals GM Steve Keim, not sounding very happy in a statement, called the violation "completely unacceptable."

"It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position," Keim said. "We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them.  From a personal standpoint, our hope is that this suspension will give Daryl the opportunity to accept the necessary help and guidance to get his life back on track and we will certainly support him however we can.

“As it pertains to our team, our approach is the same as it’s always been: next man up. We talk a lot about how critical depth is to a team because situations always arise where you lose players, whether by injury or other circumstances such as this one. One player’s absence is another’s opportunity. That approach has served us well in the past and we will rely on it now."

Washington's loss is a major blow for the Cards, who also lost Karlos Dansby this offseason in free agency. Second-year linebacker Kevin Minter was expected to fill Dansby's role and now there's a big, old mess in the middle for Arizona.

Last May Washington was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault. The suspension isn't related to that arrest but the combination certainly doesn't help.

And Washington was suspended four games to start the 2013 season

That was coming off a season where he recorded over 100 tackles and nine sacks; Washington still managed three sacks and 75 tackles in 2013 despite missing time.

It's a huge blow to the Cardinals in what looked like a very promising season.

Washington issued a statement on Friday afternoon. It doesn't sound like he'll appeal the suspension.

"I recently learned that I had violations of the NFL Substances of Abuse policy related to marijuana. The Policy is very strict, and I have chosen to take responsibility," Washington said in the statement. "I am committed to making changes in my life that will allow me to return to the NFL as soon as possible. I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape, and will work equally as hard to ensure that my life off the field meets the high level of maturity and responsibility to which I am committed. I sincerely apologize for the effect of my actions on my teammates, coaches and other colleagues at the Cardinals.

"I also apologize to Cardinals fans for the time I will miss. I will work diligently during this suspension will return as a better man and football player."

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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