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Washington out as Gabbert comes in

Posted by Darren Urban on May 11, 2017 – 2:26 pm

And so the Daryl Washington saga is over.

The Cardinals released him Thursday, just ahead of the official signing of Blaine Gabbert and just ahead of the rookies starting to report. It seemed like it might take longer to come to a decision, but it didn’t. Washington said in a statement that a fresh start was good. Mike Jurecki tweeted that Washington told him he didn’t want to play for the league minimum salary, which fits the time line. I would’ve guessed that was a prerequisite — the Cardinals weren’t going to just ride with Washington’s current deal.

Regardless, we’re basically back to where we were three weeks ago, when Washington was still suspended. As I have noted, I was surprised about a lot of this because I didn’t think there was a chance he would play for the Cardinals again. Turns out, Washington will not. We’ll all watch to see what happens with his career. I know many fear Washington signing with another NFC West team and haunting the Cards. He’s still missed three years of football. At this point, it’s impossible to predict anything. As long as he’s around somewhere, I guess someone will still shoot me DWash questions. But it won’t be about his future with the Cardinals. That’s done.

— Washington will count $1.875 million in dead cap space, according to multiple cap sites. He was due to make $2.9M in salary with another $100,000 in workout bonuses (which I’m not sure he would’ve qualified for by now), but that would save $3M in cap room off his contract. He has no dead money beyond this season, meaning they are clear of anything Washington-related after 2017.

—  There is a lot of debate about whether Washington deserved another chance with the Cards. (I won’t say a second chance because I’m not thinking this would’ve been No. 2). There are legitimate arguments for both sides. But that it came to this result can’t really shock anyone, no matter what side you might argue.

— Speaking of debate, the Gabbert signing has sparked a lot. Nationally it seems to be a touchpoint about the future of Gabbert’s former teammate Colin Kaepernick and why Kaepernick hasn’t gotten signed. But with the Cardinals, it’s about where Gabbert fits. That’s TBD, but it can’t really hurt to have Gabbert around. See what he has, whether he makes more sense to have around than Zac Dysert or Trevor Knight. (As I said yesterday, I don’t see Gabbert supplanting Stanton. Not this year.) And don’t lose sight of the fact the Cardinals want to make sure Palmer doesn’t overextend himself before the season. Having another arm is important in that regard.


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Bidwill: “Process” with Washington decision

Posted by Darren Urban on May 10, 2017 – 11:36 am

Michael Bidwill, in New York to be there when the Cardinals’ Amazon/NFL Films series “All or Nothing” won a Sports Emmy Tuesday night, also did a couple of media interviews while there. At one point with Adam Schein, the Cardinals’ team president was asked about the status of the team’s decision about recently reinstated linebacker Daryl Washington.

Bidwill said Washington had some personal things he was taking care of out of town the following weekend after the draft, so it was this week where the Washington situation became more of a Cardinals’ focal point, even though it’s been a couple of weeks since Washington’s reinstatement.

“I don’t see this as a 30-minute meeting,” Bidwill said. “There is a lot that needs to go into this and our analysis, because we haven’t seen him in three years. There is a lot more process that we are going to go through than just having a meeting. I think that everyone has to be comfortable to put him back on the field.

“We’re going to go through our process and hopefully have an answer, one way or the other, here soon.”

Bidwill said he didn’t want to get into specifics about what the team might need to hear from Washington.

“I will speak generally, we need to know that this isn’t going to happen again,” Bidwill said. “That he had accepted responsibility for what happened and what he’d done, and there were a couple different things that happen. … I just think, generally, we need to know players accept responsibility, have addressed their issues in a therapeutic way in which we know professionally they are going to be good to go moving forward and that we are going to be comfortable having them around.

“Also, when you have a player off the field for three years, that’s a big deal. … We’ve got some more process to go through.”


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Keim seeks “educational briefing” with Washington

Posted by Darren Urban on May 4, 2017 – 9:34 am

Three years have passed since the Cardinals decision-makers have talked to Daryl Washington. Such is the rules of a suspended player, who in that situation is not allowed to have contact with his team. So, while there has been a conditional reinstatement of the linebacker, no, he is not at the facility working out. The next step, already anticipated and now publicly confirmed by General Manager Steve Keim, is a discussion first.

During an interview with Adam Schein on Sirius XM radio, Keim was asked about Washington.

“To be quite honest with you, we have had dialogue with his agent, but have not have had a chance to talk with Daryl yet, just because of how busy we have been,” Keim said. “We will attend to that in the near future and obviously get a chance to talk to Daryl and see what is going on.”

There are a lot of things that would figure to have to be ironed out with Washington — his contract, his physical shape, his mental shape for football, among others — and that can’t be determined without a conversation.

“There will be a sit-down with Michael Bidwill, our president and owner, and myself and Coach Arians, and again, more than anything, an educational briefing on ‘Just where have you been the last three years, what’s going on in your life?’ ” Keim said. “Once that meeting occurs, there will be a decision made (about Washington’s future with the team).

“It’s been three years, and the way the system is set up right now, there is a lot of unknown.”


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No DWash thoughts, and the Reddick pick

Posted by Darren Urban on April 27, 2017 – 9:23 pm

Inside linebacker was the theme of the night Thursday. Mostly, it was about first-round pick Haason Reddick. But briefly, and not unexepectedly, since it was the first time Steve Keim and Bruce Arians were available since the news Daryl Washington was conditionally reinstated, they were asked about Washington.

“I’ll be honest with you, for the last 72 hours, I’ve done nothing but stare at college tape and that draft board,” Keim said. “At the appropriate time, we’ll address that. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t put a lot of thought into it.”

Keim added that the Cards would speak to Washington “after the draft.”

— The Cardinals are pretty solid at ILB now, Washington or no, by adding Reddick with Karlos Dansby and Deone Bucannon. Reddick can work behind Dansby and I won’t be surprised to see all three on the field at times.

— No quarterback Thursday. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a quarterback Friday, in either the second or third round. DeShone Kizer is still out there, as is Nate Peterman, Davis Webb and Josh Dobbs. We’ll see how it plays out.

— The 49ers made some nice moves Thursday under first-year GM John Lynch, adding a pair of good defenders (DT Solomon Thomas and LB Reuben Foster) while adding some extra picks. Foster was predicted to be a top-10 pick. His shoulder injury may have scared off teams. Bruce Arians said the Cards liked Reddick over Foster because of Reddick’s versatility.

— Reddick’s story is amazing. He had his last two high school seasons end with injury. He walked on at Temple as a cornerback. He didn’t get a scholarship until after his junior year. When Keim talked pre-draft about liking players with the proverbial chip on his shoulder, Reddick fits the bill. “There were some good times and bad times, a lot of hard work that had to be put in,” Reddick said. “It was definitely a journey, but in the end, everything worked out for the best.”


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Reinstated, the future of Daryl Washington

Posted by Darren Urban on April 25, 2017 – 5:56 pm

So Daryl Washington has been reinstated. Conditionally.

There’s a lot to unpack here, and frankly, there is only so much that makes sense to do at this point. The Cardinals did not say whether they would be welcoming back the one-time Pro Bowl linebacker who has missed three full seasons. Not yet. Washington was banned from the facility. He hasn’t talked to Bruce Arians or Steve Keim or, most importantly, Michael Bidwill, in a long, long time. At some point — I’m guessing sooner rather than later — that would have to happen for Washington to have any chance of remaining with the Cards.

It’s sticky, of course. However you feel about substance abuse and how it might trouble a person (Washington said when he was first suspended it was marijuana that did him in), his suspension was only supposed to be for a year. He could have come back long before a three-year absence, but he wasn’t doing the things he needed to do to be reinstated. That likely has to be factored in, and the Cards were not happy when this all first happened (“It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position,” Keim said at the time.)

But the Cards haven’t closed the door yet. So we will see how it plays out.

— All that’s been done is the path has been cleared. But Washington still can’t practice or play. He still needs further clearance from the league, whether he’s trying to play for the Cardinals or anyone else.

— I’ll admit, I didn’t think there was a chance DWash would come back, in part because I didn’t think he’d be reinstated. A whiff by me, although it had been three years. I don’t think I was out of bounds with that thinking.

— Kent Somers reported that the assault Washington pleaded guilty to will not lead to another suspension. In fact, Kent reports one of the reasons Washington took so long to be reinstated was in part because of that charge.

— As of now, Washington would be slated to make $2.9 million in salary for 2017 — the salary he was supposed to make in 2014, when his contract “tolled.” (Essentially, it froze.)

— Not sure exactly how his contract would impact the cap right now, but even if it had to be absorbed in the short term, I’m guessing the Cardinals won’t wait too long to figure this out post-draft. As of Tuesday, the NFLPA had the Cards with $15.3 million in salary cap space.


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Resetting the Daryl Washington info

Posted by Darren Urban on January 9, 2017 – 4:20 pm

It’s about that time of year, that time when I get a bunch of Daryl Washington questions (and I have been, pretty consistently, since the end of the season on various platforms). Now Mike Jurecki has gotten a response from the suspended linebacker — albeit brief — with Washington telling Jurecki he has optimism the NFL will reinstate him for 2017. (That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s applied or will apply. We will see.) It does mean more questions coming my way about D-Wash. So this is as good a time as any to lay out (again) what I know/think:

— After missing three full seasons of NFL play, there’s no reason to think Washington — who will turn 31 in early October — will be reinstated. His was an indefinite suspension. Most indefinite suspensions that are at least a year have ended by now if they are going to end. Washington’s, obviously, has not.

— There were good reasons the Cardinals didn’t release Washington from his contract even if they planned to move on from him. They wanted to look into the bonus money he had been paid and their options there. Plus, the bonus money that had been paid is a cap hit that the Cardinals didn’t want to foul up any single cap year. Suspended, Washington a) wasn’t getting any salary/costing any actual dollars and b) wasn’t taking up a roster spot. So it hasn’t been hurting the Cardinals to hold him in place.

— This would have been the final year of Washington’s contract, so this is the first year they could release him and not have it adversely impact the cap. This season, Washington is scheduled to count $2.5M against the cap whether he is released or suspended on the team.

— People ask me about these big cap hits Washington had, as seen on various sites that address NFL contracts. The cap hits were never going to be beyond his prorated bonus, because they always were taking into account salaries that Washington was never going to draw because he was suspended.

— It’s my understanding that Washington’s contract “tolled” on his suspension — essentially meaning his suspension suspended his contract as well — which means if Washington were to be reinstated, it would revert to his 2014 terms. That’d mean a $2.9M scheduled salary, and four years remaining on the deal.

— Not that it means much, because I feel confident in saying the Cards have moved on from Washington. I personally do not believe he is going to be reinstated.

OK. That’s my Washington post for the year, unless something happens. I know, famous last words.

Daryl Washington


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Report: “Violations” for Daryl Washington

Posted by Darren Urban on November 22, 2015 – 10:22 am

This will be short and sweet, because given the fact linebacker Daryl Washington has not been reinstated pretty much pointed this way, but Fox’s Jay Glazer said this morning on the network’s pregame show that Washington has “continued to have violations” in the NFL’s drug program while suspended under the policy of substances of abuse. Glazer also said there is some fear Washington’s career could be over. Again, I don’t think that should surprise anyone following this situation.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals have 2014 No. 1 draft pick Deone Bucannon doing a nice job in the inside linebacker spot that Washington used to man, the Cardinals currently have the No. 3-ranked defense in the NFL and the Cards are 7-2 and in first place in the NFC West. They host the Bengals tonight on “Sunday Night Football.”


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Goodell talks about Daryl Washington

Posted by Darren Urban on November 20, 2015 – 9:05 am

The NFL commissioner was talking Cardinals this morning, during an appearance on “Doug and Wolf” on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. At one point, he was asked about the status of suspended linebacker Daryl Washington, who has not been reinstated from his at-least-a-year suspension that was handed down in late May of 2014.

Goodell didn’t have details, nor was he going to. He did say that he was “aware that his status is unchanged.”

“The substance abuse policy is something that is collectively bargained with the players association as far as the CBA,” Goodell said. “A very strong tenet of that is the fact is the program remains confidential and circumstances surrounding it stay confidential between the various partners. We have professionals that work on it, they make determinations with individuals within the program and they make recommendations back to the NFLPA and NFL.

“I am not directly involved in that but I am aware his status is unchanged and will remain so until the professionals are prepared to move forward.”

While details aren’t forthcoming, it is telling that the NFLPA is looped in to all this and has not publicly said anything — in particular, gone to bat for Washington asking why he is still suspended. Neither has Washington’s agent. That’s probably not a good sign.

— Goodell also said the league “couldn’t be more pleased” with how the Super Bowl went last season and that the league looks forward to coming back. Another Super Bowl seems inevitable. Remember the one caveat to getting a Super Bowl at some point, officially, is that a host team has to give up a home game to play internationally. (That may be inevitable anyway. With the NFL’s international push, I’m guessing every team will eventually be tapped to give up a home game at some point.)


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Gunter’s turn, and “ask Daryl”

Posted by Darren Urban on August 20, 2015 – 5:24 pm

The Cardinals have a week left of training camp. The current week ended a little rough, with the Corey Peters and Mike Iupati injury news, but these things happen. And as harsh as it sounds, defensive line was probably the best position from which the Cardinals could handle losing a starter for the season. It’s just as Bruce Arians said, though, you don’t want a rash of injuries at the position.

We’ll see how Rodney Gunter comes out as starter. He’s a long way from between the orchard and the graveyard. He crushed Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray in last week’s preseason opener and the day Peters got hurt in practice, with Gunter at defensive end, he knocked back tackle Bradley Sowell so violently that it drew “ooohhhs” from the defensive players watching the play.

— Running back Chris Johnson came off the practice field when the workout was over Thursday with a wrap on the back of his upper right leg. Don’t know what it means yet. Earlier in the day Bruce Arians said Johnson would get five or six carries against the Chargers Saturday.

— Much deserved praise came Tyrann Mathieu’s way when he had his interception-fest in practice last week. It’s worth noting safety Tony Jefferson came up with his fourth pick in five practices Thursday. I do not expect anything to change with his Madden rating, however.)

— Many, many requests, both in the comments here and on Twitter, for Daryl Washington information. Arians too was asked for answers, with the reporter noting that many fans — the “Birdgang” — had been wanting to know what’s up.

“Ask Daryl,” Arians said. “I’m not allowed to talk to Daryl. The league hasn’t notified me of anything, so I would ask the Birdgang to please call Daryl.”

TC15.MoreRodtweet


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With Washington wait, a new #58

Posted by Darren Urban on August 9, 2015 – 9:47 am

There is no new news on the status of Daryl Washington — I don’t know why it’s been so long, and no one I have talked to has answers, or is giving any — but there is news about his jersey No. 58. Undrafted rookie linebacker Edwin Jackson will now be wearing that number. That’s the reality of a preseason game coming up, a 90-man roster and a handful of jersey numbers already retired (and not that the Cards are necessarily moving on from Washington.)

The NFL has a rule that says two players on the same team cannot be on the field at the same time wearing the same number. This time of year, it’s not unusual for the Cards (or other teams) to give an offensive and defensive player the same number, since offense and defense wear opposite colors in practice. That doesn’t happen in a game, of course.

As of Saturday, the Cardinals had two sets of players sharing numbers. Running back Marion Grice and safety Harold Jones-Quartey each wore No. 23. Safety Brandon Person and running back Paul Lasike each were wearing No. 34. Because there was a good chance those players could end up on the field at the same time for special teams, multiple shuffles were in order.

That led to Jackson, who had been wearing 45 (and who had a big finish Saturday lighting up Lasike on a hit, pictured below), ending up with the linebacker-friendly No. 58.

The Cardinals could “unretire” one of their retired numbers, but that wasn’t going to happen. For a linebacker, the only options there were Pat Tillman’s 40 or Marshall Goldberg’s 99. (The Cards have five retired numbers: Tillman, Goldberg, 8 for Larry Wilson, 77 for Stan Maudlin and 88 for J.V. Cain. This the biggest reason why the Cardinals don’t retire numbers and instead use a Ring of Honor — NFL teams need jersey numbers.)

Once the Cardinals cut to 53, some jersey numbers inevitably will change again. That always happens. We’ll see where Jackson is at that point, and what happens with 58 then.

Jackson


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