New drug policy doesn’t impact Washington

Posted by Darren Urban on September 17, 2014 – 9:43 am

The NFL and NFL Players Association jointly announced their new drug policy today, which changes acceptable levels of certain drugs and other issues. There have been a lot of questions — a lot — about Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington and his current one-year suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The new policy does not change Washington’s situation. I know that mystifies some, but a) the new policy was not going to change the situation for many guys under suspension and b) you (and I, for that matter) don’t know all the details of Washington’s trouble and how he ended up with a year-long ban. Bottom line, nothing has changed for him.

Further, whenever (and if) Washington is reinstated — because the current suspension is for at least a year — he still faces NFL discipline for his assault charge for which he pleaded guilty. You’d think Washington is far from returning to the football field, if he ever does.

The full text of the joint NFL-NFLPA release about the new drug policy:

The NFL and NFL Players Association have reached agreement on wide-ranging improvements to their policy on performance enhancing substances that include the use of third-party arbitration appeals of positive tests and implementation of testing for human growth hormone within the next few weeks.

The NFL and NFLPA are nearing an agreement on changes to the substance abuse policy that is expected to be announced when it is completed.

Key revisions to the program on performance enhancing substances are:

  • HGH testing will be fully implemented this season.  Information on testing procedures will be sent to clubs and players within the week, and testing should begin by the end of this month.
  • Appeals of positive tests in the performance enhancing drug programs (including HGH) will be heard by third-party arbitrators jointly selected and retained by the NFL and NFLPA.  Appeals will be processed more expeditiously under improved rules and procedures.
  • Discipline of players for certain violations in the 2014 league year will be adjusted to reflect the new policy. Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos, Orlando Scandrick of the Dallas Cowboys and Stedman Bailey of the St. Louis Rams will be eligible to return to their teams this week.
  • Discipline for violations of the performance enhancing drug policy (including for HGH) will be modified. 
  • A first violation will result in a suspension without pay of up to six games depending on the nature of the violation. Use of a diuretic or masking agent will result in a suspension without pay of two games. Use of a steroid, stimulant, HGH or other banned substance will result in a suspension without pay of four games. Evidence of an attempt to manipulate a test will result in a suspension without pay of six games.
  • A second violation of the steroid policy will result in a suspension without pay of 10 games.  A third violation will result in banishment for a minimum of two years. 
  • Players who test positive for banned stimulants in the off-season will no longer be suspended.  Instead, the player will be referred to the substance abuse program.  Players who test positive for banned stimulants during the season will continue to be suspended without pay for four games.
  • In cases involving discipline for violations other than positive tests (for example, a violation of law), the Commissioner will retain his current disciplinary authority.  A player will have a right of appeal based on due process issues or a claim of disparate punishment.  This appeal will be heard by a member of the existing CBA Appeals Panel.

Previously, the Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified in 2011 utilized the policies in place under the 2006 CBA.



Tags: ,
Posted in Blog | 38 Comments »

38 Responses to “New drug policy doesn’t impact Washington”

  1. By Rugbymuffin on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply


    Hope there is something in the new deal that let’s the Cardinals get their money back, so they can cut this guy off the roster, and start finding his replacement.

    To bad, D-Waste could have been the face of the modern pass-skeleton NFL linebacker, and now all he will be remembered for is getting flipped over by Jerome Simpson.

  2. By Dr. G. on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Just a preemptive note to what is certainly coming in the media everywhere. In light of the unacceptable behavior from some NFL players, we need to keep this in mind – –


    The general public does not do as well…not an excuse…just thinking out loud…Be well Cards Fans…

  3. By D on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Cards will wash their hands of DWash this spring and will have to draft his replacement. (reason why they were so interested in Shazier this past draft)

  4. By Mackay on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Okay, it hurts me to say this, but I am hoping that I get an answer fron Darren Urban.

    Do you think that AZ has two of the most overrated players in the NFL?

    Fitz just is not as good as he once was, but is still considered one of the best players. That is just not true.

    I honestly think that PP is the most overrated player in the NFL. He was simply a disaster the past two weeks. He really was not very great last year (Remember the Titans….Kendall Wright had liike 150 yards receiving on him). Cro has already shown to be much more consistent than PP, and is seriously a lot cheaper. Mark my words, Crabtree will again demolish PP on Sunday, and real talks about how overrated PP is will begin to surface.,

  5. By Darren Urban on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Mackay —

    RE: Overrated

    I think Peterson needs to play better. I also think there are 31 other teams that would take Patrick Peterson in a heartbeat.

    As for Fitz, he’s probably not the player he once was, nor is he asked to do the same things.

  6. By Nick on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Washington will be back next year in Cardinal red ready to rock – it would be a different story if he was bad in the locker room – to me he is the Cards best defender and is still super young with untapped potential- I mean lets be serious how else do you come down from an HGH cocktail other than the chrons?

  7. By Steve Weston on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    A sad ending to this young man’s career, as it is starting to appear. A good lesson for everyone, really. Think about your actions before taking them. All it takes sometimes is a single mistake to ruin your life.

  8. By Dr. G. on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Another sterling example of not being properly socialized – –

    What NFL team would draft Jameis Winston today? If something dramatic does not change in his behavior, his destiny will not be favorable. Some team will take a flyer on him and end up on TV like the Vikings today.

    “I can do anything for attention, steal if I want to, say vulgar things in a public..’cuz I’m the QB… people have to love me…the leader of the posse…”

  9. By Rugbymuffin on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    @ Nick

    Daryl Washington will be 28 years old this October, and has yet to be disciplined by the league for his domestic assault/battery case.

    So, if Washington is lucky he will be playing somewhere week 10 next season and he will be 29 years old.

    If he is suspended for all next year as well, he will be 30 by October of the 2016 season.

    Just sayin’ he is not that young. He may have just ended his own career.

  10. By Rugbymuffin on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    BTW – Talking about Patrick Peterson, and defensive backs, and how good they are is a moot point.

    The pass defense rule changes that were made over the offseason are extreme, thus I don’t know how we can base how good or bad a player is on defense until a year or two go by.

    Not to say Peterson is over rated, or under rated, just sayin’ things are different this year.

  11. By Cardinals Chick on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    I just love the way people have decided his fate without having all of the information.

  12. By Dr. G. on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Nick – – Your dreams of DWash for 2015 will happen only with Divine Intervention. The Urban Dictionary aided my interpretation of your post. I would like to see your dream come true, but the odds are about 9,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1….

    RugbyM – – Yep, insightful… I see Dwash going to Europe somewhere or the CFL maybe to earn some $$$$. He has ruined his NFL days.

    We could write a sizable book on the historical travels of troubled NFL players for the purpose of educating the new guys coming in, and my guess is that a new chapter would be needed every year. I think the staff and coaches are doing just about everything possible to preempt these things, but there will always be those who think they are indestructible…impervious…refusing maturity…later…

  13. By ryan on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Chick- didnt Dwash plead guilty to domestic abuse? I thought i heard or read that somewhere and if that is true, then Dwash decided his own fate.


    I HATE THE 9rs

  14. By 'ZonaFan89 on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    The whole DWash situation just makes me sick… What a waste of talent. This guy had everything at his fingertips and chose to blow it !! Why!!??? Totally stupid and very selfish. Now it screws the middle of our defense for the foreseeable future because we don’t have his speed and coverage ability. If I was on the team, I’d be p—–! What a sorry excuse for a teammate…

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Cardinal Chick,

    See Ryan’s comments. He has created his own fate. Several failed drug test and an abuse charge still looming. Not hard to follow the bouncing ball.


    Reading it somewhere? How about in Darren’s article above. 🙂

    Washington in 2015;

    Here is the biggest issue with releasing players. Washington is due 6.5 million in 2015, but worse, his dead money is 6.8 million. So, to release him, you have to eat another 300k. His contract runs through 2017. I am not sure if there will be cap hits in 2016 and 17 if released in 2015, but I believe he has 4.2 million of dead money in 2016.

    This is the issue I have with the league. I’m fine with guaranteed money being paid. But I think teams who have players arrested should be able to re coop the cap space. The current system is like hitting the team twice, first a suspension and second cap hits causing the team not to cut the guy.

  16. By Cards Girl on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Different subject, but I notice that all those who complained about the Cards drafting Levi Brown instead of Adrian Peterson are nowhere to be found. I haven’t heard one local sports talk guy mention how the 2014 Cards would have been impacted by the current situation. This is your chance Gambo!

  17. By Robert on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Cards are nuts..i would have done anything to have ADS on the CARDS for these past 7 or 8 years even if we had to dismiss him today..Levi was worthless…AD could have been a hall of famer

    As far as PP goes, i have been talking about him being over rated since last year. They are picking on him instead of throwing at Crow or to our thirs CB

    As far as the other 32 teams, get me a first round draft pick and you can have him

  18. By Scott H on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Not related to this, specifically…but in regard to other recent events related to players – AND THE NFL – in trouble, I find it both interesting and absolutely pathetic that we are seeing the NFL react with such expediency and intensity as soon as big corporate sponsors ( = MONEY ) get involved and threaten to pull the plug ( = to pull back the MONEY the NFL makes from their sponsorship ).

    This is an absolute OUTRAGE and the sponsors aren’t the only ones who should not tolerate this. What is clear is that as long as their MONEY is not being threatened, the NFL is completely content to let the legal process take its course ( which usually means players can continue to play in the meantime ) and THEN they will take their action. And the teams are not innocent here, either, because THEY can initiate their own consequences any time they wish. Yeah, I know the players have a union, but….c’mon. man. I’d like to see them TRY to defend the actions of Rice or Peterson, claiming that for them to not be able to play is unfair to them. BUT, let a corporate sponsor step in and take their money back and suddenly, the NFL is right on top of it to do the right thing. It is SUCH A CROCK!

    Roger Goodell, if you had any decency of all, you would step down now. Seriously. You are a fraud and a despicable human being. It is clear that filling your pockets and the pockets of your team owners with more money that ANY human being needs is / has been your top priority. I doubt you have any such decency, but….if there is any justice in this world, you will be removed soon.

    Maybe the one good thing that will come from all of the hell that is raining down upon you and your empire right now is that it will render you less able to focus on things like global domination, having more games in other countries, putting teams in other countries, increasing the number of regular season games, and all of the other things that I hope you will NEVER accomplish.

    As much as I love football, I have to say that there is some satisfaction in seeing the NFL FINALLY feeling some pain from SOMETHING. And the main reason I say that is because of Roger Goodell and how much I cannot stand him and his way of doing things. As Drew Brees said, HE should be held accountable, just as the players are. I think Brees took great delight in being able to say that and I think he is nothing but 100% right.

  19. By Dynosoar on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H, JTDG

    100 thumbs up!

  20. By cardsalltheway on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    “b) you (and I, for that matter) don’t know all the details of Washington’s trouble and how he ended up with a year-long ban.”

    Hmmm, since we don’t know the “details”(actually, we know practically nothing) how can we trust that the commissioner is doing the right thing or not?

    “acceptable levels of certain drugs and other issues”???

    I’ll be calmly waiting for more information on that. Sounds like the NFL will be working on these “levels and issues” etc…for a long time, but can they ever get it right or be consistent?

    “In a statement released to the media, Washington acknowledges the violation was related to marijuana. Under the league’s substance abuse policy, punishment for being in Stage 2 of the league’s system is a four-game suspension. Washington got a four-game suspension last year. It is in Stage 3 where the minimum suspension is for at least one year. According to that policy, the player has to apply to be reinstated after that year. A return is not automatic. He spends the rest of his career in Stage 3, with unannounced testing and the ability to be tested up to 10 times a month.”

    Stage 1 seems to be a mystery for fans.

    I’ve heard that players will be appealing almost every positive HGH test result?

    Alcohol and prescribed opiates are still okay, fine, and dandy for the most part folks. However, those players that are arrested/found guilty for DWI are often put on probation and told by the courts not to drink alcohol.

    Is this the fate of John Abraham after the season?

    Regardless, I doubt an NFL team would tell the court if alcohol was found in a player’s blood after an NFL random drug test? Of course not, the NFL doesn’t even test for alcohol, silly me! One shot! Or two, or three, or etc…

    “then Dwash decided his own fate.”

    If he didn’t he could’ve done some time, you know like Ray Rice. But by pleading guilty, he only got…”Washington was sentenced to one-year of supervised probation on April 23, 2014.”

    Have you ever had a broken collar bone? Well, I have and it feels brutally painful, not only immediately afterward but also when you try to move while sleeping. I broke it playing football as I was tackled in the front yard when I was about 12 years old. I wasn’t wearing shoulder pads.

    Next year in April or May D. Wash could be reinstated after the “substance abuse” matter, then could face suspension for MAYBE 1 game(under the old Roger Goodell system) for domestic violence/class 6 felony-aggravated assault. Under the new 4 female NFL panel system, who knows, maybe 8 games? The good news for the NFL is that they don’t have to worry about D. Washington’s domestic violence/class 6 felony-aggravated assault until April/May 2015(maybe) if D. Wash can pass up to 10 drug tests per month.

  21. By cardsalltheway on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    @Dr. G.,
    “The general public does not do as well…not an excuse…just thinking out loud…Be well Cards Fans…”

    The “general public”

    That’s not even a fair comparison. A better comparison would be to compare NFL players with another select group of men mostly in their 20’s.

    Why not go to California(Silicon Valley) and drum up males in their 20’s since they got money like NFL players? I can’t think of a better or more fair comparison, can anyone else?

  22. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Are you kidding me?

    The incident happened a while ago and his wife kept records. Did the cards know prior to signing him?

  23. By cardsalltheway on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Jonathan Dwyer, how could you get yourself in this type of trouble? From CNN, he’s been arrested for an “assault” charge.

  24. By Andrew on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren, any word on Johnathan Dwyer? Heard he was just deactivated due to a domestic violence charge… What’s going on, do you know?

  25. By Darren Urban on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Andrew —

    RE: Dwyer

  26. By clssylssy on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    I see now Jonathan Dwyer has been arrested for domestic violence that occurred “a while back” but that his wife is now just getting around to pursuing (having kept evidence…photos??? during the interim). It sounds suspiciously like a shakedown and makes it pretty apparent that these women aren’t perhaps the “victims” they are portraying themselves to be. In the Daryl Washington situation, his babymamma had “a history” with the police of prior questionable situations and the “abuse” in Washington’s case was his pushing her resulting in a broken collarbone. It would seem that the press has started a feeding frenzy and now it’s open season.
    In PFT’s article they pointed out that the Cards could cut Dwyer and the next man up from the practice squad would be Chris Rainey, who has had two previous incidents of domestic abuse! When will this end? From where I sit whoever is doing the recruiting is missing a little thing called a background check OR has chosen to look the other way until the tabloids stirred the pot and set about a chain reaction. And, while everyone is talking about the players letting down their team and fans, it seems they aren’t the only ones!
    As to Goodell’s four women panel….it might be interesting to note none are women of color and so are, in effect, tokens.
    What a mess!

  27. By NJAzCardsFan on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Do the Cards get to replace Dwyer on the roster with another player…???

    Bernard coming back again…/??

  28. By Eric G on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Nice to know the NFL changed the policy so they could let their beloved Broncos have Wes Welker back. Ridiculous that it only applies to tests for this year.

  29. By T. Stone on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    Who is this Washington fella you speak of?

  30. By T. Stone on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    DR G

    Darren Has his own Dictionary? Sweet.

  31. By clssylssy on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    FYI…Fitz was just ranked by as the seventh in the league of top red zone threats…ahead of Jordy Nelson, A.J.Green, Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates, Eric Decker, etc. Not too darn shabby in most experts’ eyes! Five years ago he was number 1, but as Darren pointed out, he’s not being used now like he was then. By most accounts Patrick Peterson is also considered one of the most gifted athletes in the NFL and there are other factors that could account for his being “off his game” lately. I am sure that as the season progresses all of our talent will come together, it is only the third game afterall; we’re doing better than the Saints!

  32. By Failing NFL...Failing Nation on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    To piggyback off Scott H’s comment:

    I believe it’s time for all Americans to boycott the NFL. All the money the NFL takes in, and the fans get stuck with another greedy, corporate dictatorship…the way to stick it to the NFL is to stop going to games, stop watching it on TV, stop buying merchandise, and simply stop supporting the NFL in it’s entirety. It’s time for the people to take the power back from greedy corporations, and the government for that matter. Otherwise, the fabric in which our nation was founded will be completely and utterly destroyed, much beyond any correction us measly Americans could manage or comprehend. I challenge every American and fan to rise up and let’s show who’s really in charge…if it weren’t for us people, there would be no NFL and no government…keep that in mind.

  33. By CreditCard on Sep 17, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with Scott H.

    Goodell must go. What a puny human being. Only interested in lining his pockets with cash, owners pockets with cash, and sponsor’s pockets with coin of the realm.

  34. By Eazy E on Sep 18, 2014 | Reply

    Daryl’s domestic violence case was weird though. I don’t remember vividly all the details but I remembered that she was kinda cuckoo!

  35. By clssylssy on Sep 18, 2014 | Reply

    Everyone seems to forget that Goodell is an EMPLOYEE and answers to the Owners. No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater but the Owners need to grow a backbone and fix this mess that didn’t happen over night. They certainly have the money to hire consultants if they are unable to do the job themselves, not sure “next man up” in this situation would be any better, or, be anything more than a bandaide! Time to climb off the ledge, and move forward in a positive direction.

  36. By much.faster on Sep 18, 2014 | Reply

    @eric G, it`s not only the welker rule, it`s also the change in the pass protecting rules.

    lex manning, to protect the manning style and punish defenders like sherman and pp for making his majesty peyton looking dumb last year in the bowl.

    this league has become more and more the goldman sachs league, after they asked goldman sachs to look for the finances.
    cheating and cheating and cheating, and if cought, you ask robert mueller for help.

    hey, its pure coincidence, that mueller is paid by the nfl for other services, lol.

  37. By laura on Sep 18, 2014 | Reply

    Lmao the nfhell is a Frickin joke. Get rid of Goodell that piece of $*#&. Protect those who hurt others but suspend someone for smoking smh maybe Goodell should pull his head out of his cooter and take a hit. 2 game suspension for busting ur wife in the face. That’s ride the nfhell hid that too.

  38. By Scott H on Sep 18, 2014 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    Yeah, the owners have the money, alright. Problem is, they are primarily interested in MAKING IT. IMHO, they are NOT interested in SPENDING IT on consultants to help fix this “mess.” They ARE clearly invested in having an owner like Goodell, whom they have profited from immensely. As stated, what have appeared to have been the primary interests of this owner over the last several years? Expanding the global appeal of the game. Playing more games in other countries. Having teams in other countries. Why? Because those are HUGE reserves of oil ( = MONEY ) that have have remained un-tapped and this league just CANNOT wait to get their rigs into place so they can start drilling.

    You are right, Goodell IS an employee who is put in power by the owners just as the president is put in office by the people ( we hope ). So, this IS a situation that is going to tell us a LOT about these owners. Are they going to back the goose who has been laying their golden eggs? Or might they sacrifice that goose in the interests of doing the right thing? I think the answer is this – these owners will sacrifice the goose ONLY if and / or when the people stand up ( as some sponsors are now doing ) and stop buying those eggs. Otherwise, why would they rock their own boat? I REALLY hate to be this cynical but I do believe that the owners are hoping that this storm will blow over, everyone will go back to loving football, and they can remain safely hidden away while the money keeps rollin’ in.

    Though he is an employee, Goodell could step down. I don’t imagine he would UNLESS he were pressured to do so by the owners. That is how that will go if it ever goes that way. The owners will NOT fire him. They might decide he has to go and they will go to him and persuade him to take a graceful exit so HE doesn’t have to be fired and THEY don’t have to look like bad guys.

    But it WILL all come down to money. And what the sponsors are now doing may just cause the ripple effects that will bring Goodell down. All it’s gonna take is enough dominos to fall.

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: