He hasn't played in an NFL game since December of 2013, and now Daryl Washington is no longer a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
The linebacker, recently able to earn conditional reinstatement from an indefinite NFL suspension after violating the policy for substances of abuse, was released by the team Thursday. He had met with team president Michael Bidwill, General Manager Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians earlier this week.
"After meeting with Daryl Washington, we have collectively decided it is best to release Daryl and give him the opportunity to continue his career elsewhere," the team said in a brief statement.
The decision came quickly, especially after Bidwill had talked Wednesday about the "process" in making the choice. The Cardinals did spend their first-round pick on highly-regarded inside linebacker Haason Reddick, and signed veteran Karlos Dansby earlier in the offseason. Starter Deone Bucannon rounds out the top three at the position.
Washington was conditionally reinstated from league suspension prior to the draft. He would be evaluated "later in the season" to see if he would receive full reinstatement, the NFL had previously said in a statement.
"I want to thank the Cardinals organization, especially Mr. Bidwill and Steve Keim for drafting and believing in me, and their continued support," Washington said in a statement released to profootballtalk.com. "We've had some really positive and productive discussions this week, and at the end of the day we mutually agreed it was best for both sides to get a fresh start. I'm in the best shape of my life, and very much look forward to the next opportunity, where I will again play at an All-Pro level and help my team make a championship run."
Washington was drafted in the second round in 2010, reaching second-team All-Pro status in his third season of 2012. That year, in which Washington also made the Pro Bowl, he had nine sacks and an interception. He also received a contract extension in September.
In April of 2013, Washington was suspended for the first four games of the season after violating the league's policy on substances of abuse. The following month, he was arrested on an assault charge.
He returned in Week 5 that year to turn in another impressive season, collecting 75 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions for the 10-6 Cardinals. Washington's play also helped fellow inside linebacker Karlos Dansby enjoy arguably the best season of his career.
But in late April of 2014, Washington pled guilty on his assault case, getting probation. His indefinite suspension for again violating the league's substance abuse policy came a month later.