Washington and the rules of reinstatement

Posted by Darren Urban on July 16, 2015 – 1:53 pm

No, there is nothing new — with training camp a tad more than two weeks away — when it comes to the status of suspended linebacker Daryl Washington. That nothingness was confirmed when Mike Jurecki was told by league spokesman Greg Aiello there was no change in Washington’s status. That is simply the only news — if that qualifies — as Washington’s suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy stretches toward 14 months. The original term was for at least a year, and he was suspended in late May of 2014.

Jurecki also reported that Washington had indeed applied for reinstatement (and later reported that came on May 8.)  Obviously, he hasn’t been reinstated. Not sure if that means no decision has been made, or if it was denied. Aiello’s public comment does not clear that up. As for the NFL’s official policy on reinstatement, here are the words verbatim from the policy:

(e) Reinstatement Criteria: After the completion of the one-year banishment period, the Commissioner, in his sole discretion, will determine if and when the Player will be allowed to return to the NFL. A Player’s failure to adhere to his Treatment Plan during his banishment will be a significant consideration in the Commissioner’s decision. A Player seeking reinstatement also must meet certain clinical requirements as determined by the Medical Director and other requirements as set forth in Appendix B.

And there is this as well:

Set forth below are the procedures to be used when an application is received by the Commissioner.

1. Within 45 days of receipt of the application, the Player will be interviewed by the Medical Director and the Medical Advisor, after which a recommendation will be made to the Commissioner with regard to the Player’s request for reinstatement.

2. The Player will execute appropriate medical release forms that will enable the Commissioner’s staff and NFLPA Executive Director’s staff to review the Player’s substance abuse history, including but not limited to attendance at counseling sessions (individual, group and family); attendance at 12-step and other self-help group meetings; periodic progress reports; and all diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations.

3. The Player will submit to urine testing by an NFL representative at a frequency determined by the Medical Advisor.

4. The Player will agree in a meeting with the Commissioner or his representative(s) to comply with the conditions imposed by the Commissioner for his reinstatement to the status of an active Player.

5. All individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.

While it says steps will be taken to “enable” the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days, nowhere does it say a decision must be made in 60 days. In the meantime, no news means no news.



Posted in Blog | 47 Comments »

47 Responses to “Washington and the rules of reinstatement”

  1. By Scott H on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    My lord, what a waste. As much as I find the NFL’s process cumbersome, infuriating, and seemingly inconsistent….the fact is that Washington did this to himself. Period. And there is really no one to blame but him.

    What a damn shame. All the talent in the world…..he’s in what should be the prime of his playing career…..and it’s going down the toilet. I know that as a human being, I’m supposed to wish him the best and hope that he gets himself together. And I do. But the Cardinals fan in me is angry at him for doing this to US at a time when this team is a legit contender and his talent would make us even MORE of a contender.

    Meanwhile, with the NFL’s way of doing things, it feels like he’ll be in his friggin 40’s before anything happens.

  2. By Dynosoar on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    We have had four season’s in team history we have won eleven games (never more)

    1925 – NFL Champions
    1948 – We lost the Championship game to the Eagles
    Enter Super Bowl Era
    1975 – Don Coryll
    2014 – Bruce Arians

    (We have also had 17 games, all in the Super Bowl Era we have lost 11+ games)

  3. By Dynosoar on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    I love this game of football, but people are far more important to me than a scoreboard.

    Daryl Washington didn’t play a single snap in any of the four season’s (since 1920) where we won eleven games, but he did play in two of the seasons where we lost eleven games.

    As much as I liked having him on the team, I’m good if he never plays in Cardinals red again. I’m a Cardinals fan, not an individual player’s fan.

    However, I really hope and pray he turns his life around and overcomes this. Whether he plays again or not, don’t care. Whether he lives up to his potential and becomes clean and treats others gently (well, unless it’s an opposing QB), that matters to me.

    (I don’t hold the no news against him, it’s in Goodell’s court and that has never seemed like a court of justice to me. Goodell, well, I’ll just follow Thumper’s Mom’s advice from here out.)

    I hope Daryl can become the kind of man like Kurt Warner that only positive can be said.

  4. By Scott H on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Just because I would rather focus on something else at this moment and because there is so little really going on until camp starts, I’ll throw this out there.

    Anyone see the piece on where the current back-up QB’s are ranked from 1-32? As usual, I found it both interesting and absolutely ridiculous. Ranked at #1 – and labeled as “Starting Material” – is Mark Sanchez. MARK FRIGGIN SANCHEZ. Are you kidding me????? To the idiot who did the rankings, I remind you that Sanchez WAS a starter for the Jets only a very short time ago. AND when he had a chance to start a few games last year, it really didn’t go too well. Again, you’ve GOT to be kidding me. Believe me – with there not being nearly enough quality starting QB’s to go around in the NFL today – Sanchez WOULD be a starter somewhere if he were truly “Starter Material.” But he’s not. For more on that, just ask the Jets. Or the Eagles.

    Meanwhile, Drew Stanton – who got extended playing time last season and posted a winning record as a starter – comes in at #9. And several spots BEHIND ( drumroll, please ) Derek Anderson! Again, you MUST be kidding me. Stanton won 5 games last year alone. To the idiot who did the rankings, I ask how far back do you have to go – how many YEARS – to get to the point where you find the last 5 wins Derek Anderson has had as starting QB???

    So INSANELY ridiculous, it boggles the mind.

  5. By Dr. G. on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren, You may remember my commentary on your previous posts that Washington appears to be using Jurecki to say things that may be inaccurate, like…”Yeah, I applied?” Mike was just reporting something as usual, but sometimes reporters get bogus “scoop” information that has not been fact-checked. Reporters can tell the truth about what they hear; but what they hear can indeed be false. ((A twister, huh?))

    IMO, that is the bottom line here, unless Greg Aiello confirmed receipt of application for reinstatement, which is contrary to their procedures in order to avoid litigation.

    You can wager that all individuals involved would perform expeditiously as standard procedure “”IF”” Washington did indeed apply for reinstatement. So, as we both have written, no news here is perhaps bad news for Washington. As I alluded to prior, “What is he hiding?” He must fear the medical people at this point. The lights will illuminate sooooon….be well.

  6. By Darren Urban on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Washington

    I did remember your point and I too was cautious. But Washington’s agent confirmed to Kent Somers that the application to be reinstated did in fact happen. I don’t know why he would lie.

  7. By Lynn on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply


    Does the clock on the 45 days begin on May 8, when he applied for reinstatement, seemingly sooner than a year of the date of the suspension if in late May, or from the date of the suspension in late May? If it’s the former, he’s well into the process, exceeding the 60 day interval, and doesn’t seem to bode well for him. However if it’s the later, and I think that’s the case, he could still be within the 45 day time period. I ask because under (e) Reinstatement Criteria it seems clear that the one year banishment period must be met before consideration is given to an application for reinstatement. That would mean that the time from May 8 until the anniversary of the suspension doesn’t count and that the application has just recently exceeded the 45 day time frame and within the 60 day decision deadline.

  8. By Darren Urban on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Lynn —

    RE: “Clock”

    That I do not know.

  9. By Brad oneill on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    It is now at the point where the league is punishing the fans and the team beyond what is reasonable. This shouldnt be decided on the whim of a commissioner it should be decided in a timely matter with an open and honest report on why the decision was made. The team can claim to be movin on as if he doesnt matter but his salary cap hit matters. That is a big check they could issue to someone else and improve the team if they knew he was done. As it stands we all get stuck waiting as good players go elsewhere.

  10. By azdesertrat1953 on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    If he wants to play Football he will have to Stop.

    If he has had his fill of Football or Can Not Stop, well that’s too bad for the Team and Daryl.

    I hope about half way through the season the rust is off and we see DW back on the field just as fast as before and hanging with Peterson and Mathieu and Not being “That Guy” anymore.

    It can be done Daryl Washington, It Is Up To YOU.

    GO CARDS!!!

  11. By Craig on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks for any news regarding Daryl. We are all waiting to hear the good news that Daryl will be part of the team again. What a difference he will make in our defense.

  12. By Tim Bork on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Regarding Washington and the lack of news:
    Should we have some sort of news by the end of July? If Washington applied for reinstatement on May 8th, the 45 day period has already passed in which he would be interviewed by the league, correct?

  13. By Darren Urban on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Tim Bork —

    RE: Date

    Again, that sounds right but details are scarce.

  14. By woody on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    I am disgusted with pro footballs leadership. And more so the players.
    who in their right mind votes to make the boss a king with no conscience. Gets to suspend suspend. What courtroom sits a king. NFL does.goodel is a hack, just like our president. Making up rules. With all the millions dolled out, no one complains. The fans now, can’t listen to football talk, just suspensions. I hear now, cussing is a suspendable offence. Get over yourselves, ur lucky to have ur wealth much$ ESPN has bought.into football, now we have to pay again to watch a game on tv.u all suck. I’d tell you straight up to your face. But this weak ass email will have to do. I bet I hurt your pride less feelings. Punks

  15. By Cards4Ever on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    in this case, and after reading the policy, this no news sounds like bad news. I hope I’m wrong and D. Washington is back this year!

  16. By Cards4Ever on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren, are there any other players out there in a similar situation where they’re waiting to hear on a reinstatement?

  17. By Darren Urban on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Cards4 —

    RE: Similar situation

    Not that I know of.

  18. By joe holst on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    The NFL favors the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. They have time t reduce Greg Hardy’s suspension to 4 games and possibly reduce Tom Brady who flat out cheated but they can’t get around to this man . Let him know where he stands this is total BS, he deserves to know especially since 2 months have passed since he applied. Is Rod Graves involved in this with his recent promotion?

  19. By rod on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    I wish I didn’t care about this whole thing with Washington but I do and it really makes me crazy that this seems to be the NFL’s best kept secret.

  20. By Dr. G. on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren – – OKAY… I do not remember reading or hearing that the “agent” made a comment on this directly to Somers or the DATE he reported that. This could change things. I only read and heard the Jurecki//Washington statement.

    Further, I thought KSomers was just repeating the Jurecki/Washington text in his column…later

  21. By BigBobDiesel on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    I think us as fans have to take the route the couches seem to be taking. That of he is not going to be playing this season. Saying that, I am curious to know who everyone thinks has the ability to fill the role of MLB this season. I’m talking someone on the current roster right now. No trades, possible free agent cap casualties, none of that. I thought Kevin Minter had one good game last season and had problems getting to the edge. I’ve liked the growth of Glenn Carson, sounds like there are a number of people who like Alani Fua, Edwin Jackson stood out of Georgia Southern, and I guess we have to through veteran Daryl Sharpton in the mix. Does anyone see Zo Alexander jumping inside?

  22. By Chris on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    I love the Cards and have for 32 years. I love the way that DWash plays the game and i believe he is an elite game-changer.

    I have also worked for my entire life and what he has done he has done to himself. I am not going to judge him but I worked at a Best Buy when I was younger and they drug tested…I passed and worked there. Had they had random testing, I believe that 1/2 to 3/4ths of the staff would have been fired. As is the case in almost every field in the working world. I am more offended by stringent policies.
    Personally, I believe that these guys and most people that smoke are self medicating to some extent.

    The domestic violence case…that one is somewhat egregious. I don’t hold to the idea that all men should not all women…that is irrational. Yet, DWASH, as a professional football player is physically superior to the mother of his child and must learn restraint. I will say that he pushed her with two hands…terrible? Yes… but nothing like what Hardy did.

    I also believe that if we lose DWash we will be more than happy with Weatherspoon…I love his style and he is a leader and a game changer. If Dwash returns…best ILB tandem in the league.

  23. By WVcardFan on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, has anyone tried to clarify with the league office if the time frame might be 60 BUSINESS days instead of CALENDAR days? I find it awfully coincidental that May 8th (date of reinstatement application) happens to be EXACTLY 60 BUSINESS days from the day players report to Training Camp.

  24. By Darren Urban on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    WV —

    RE: Clarify

    I have not.

    Although I will say that usually, if something is about business days, that is noted.

  25. By Tyler on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply


    At this rate – do you envision the front office even accepting Daryl Washington back with open arms, and exonerating him so quickly upon reinstatement to boot? What’s the general feeling around the organization / locker room from what you’ve gathered hitherto?

    From what I’ve read it’s been mixed – the players would obviously welcome Washington back for his undeniable talent, but beyond that – does Keim view this as a necessary risk? Hoping you can shed some light.


  26. By Darren Urban on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    Tyler —

    RE: Open arms

    Sorry, not much to tell. Arians made it sound like he could make it work, but the organization/Keim aren’t tipping their hand as long as he is suspended.

  27. By Eazy E on Jul 16, 2015 | Reply

    Let the man play ball hell!

  28. By faster on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    @dwash, folks, patience. i expect him reinstalled late in july, and also a punishment of two games. what i don`t understand is the NFL policy to mix doping and smoking marihuana. but i`m not a burgereater, maybe i miss something.

    @sanchez and stanton, i agree. stanton should be top three, together with sanchez and fitzpatrick.

    @brady, you can`t punish someone without proof. so i expect them to lift the 4 games ban, but i also expect a heavy fine for brady for not cooperating with the NFL. or short said, a Goldman Sachs deal.

  29. By Darren Urban on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    faster —

    RE: Policy

    There is no mixed policy between PEDs and substances of abuse. They have separate policies.

  30. By Steve on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    By the time an NFL player is suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the player has tested positive three times (and remanded to intervention). The year-long suspension implies at least a fourth infraction. All of you who are optimistic about Washington straightening out his life have the odds stacked against you. He needs a change of venue. He doesn’t have enough discipline to separate himself from his circle of pot-smoking friends. Trade him for a 1st round pick. Every atmosphere is conducive to a predictable behavior, and Arizona is not helping this young, talented man. Get him out of here, for his sake…

  31. By clssylssy on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    Actually, ESPN staff writer, Josh Weinfuss wrote an article on Washington’s pending decision just last week in which it was confirmed that Washington had applied for reinstatement May 8th; the article was pretty upbeat and positive for ESPN and speculated that the July 4th holiday could be partially a factor in the delay in a decision. We know, as well, that the Commissioner has had a pretty stacked calendar ruling on other player’s missteps such as Greg Hardy, Tom Brady, etc. Weinfuss also stated that Washington’s domestic violence would have to be ruled on separately but nonetheless was classified as a misdemeanor… “Washington pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in an incident involving his ex-girlfriend in 2013. He received a year of probation, which was reduced by two months in February. The charge, which was unclassified when he was sentenced in April 2014, was classified as misdemeanor.”
    So, has there been “no news”… not exactly, but, perhaps what the organization knows, and what they are willing to divulge, are a shade off from what we’ve been led to believe. What we do know about the NFL is that money talks.
    The Cowboys are in a serious “win now” mode and aren’t afraid to spend the money to do so, even if it means taking risks on players like Greg Hardy and La’el Collins (how the media did a number of him) or awarding mega contracts to their players like Dez Bryant when he threatens to sit out until he gets what he wants; the idea of Jerry Jones “greasing the wheels” with the Comissioner in the matter of Greg Hardy doesn’t seem that far fetched to me. Like every billion dollar enterprise corporate politics are rampant in the NFL.
    The players want Washington back and BA has stated publically that he would take him back because of the player’s support for Washington but that Washington would have to be on a short leash…sounds good to me. I’m not sure that Keim is aboard that platform and, no doubt, Bidwill is worried about the potential fallout, so quite possibly there lies the rub.
    As a fan, I want to WIN NOW! And, while we have a lot of young talent, our defense is lacking in an experienced veteran presence, power, and seems “iffy”. We need Washington, our team is better with him playing for us, and you can bet he would be snapped up in a heart beat by one of our competitors. I trust the judgement of our players who are a pretty tight and wholesome bunch and are in a better position to know what’s REALLY the situations with their colleague.

  32. By Scott H on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    joe hoist –

    I must say, I’ve kinda been feeling the same way and with Greg Hardy as my example of why. I have heard the word “horrific” used in conjunction with what Hardy did. Several people I have heard comment on what he actually did ( based on transcripts ) have described it as hard to even take in because it WAS so horrific. Yet, he is on his way back to the field while Washington just continues to twist in the wind.

    It does not make sense to me.

  33. By joe67 on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H re: Back up qb.s

    Good post. I can’t agree more, but probably written by another east coast reporter that doesn’t know about anyone or anything west of Philly. Stanton should be AT WORST in the top 3. I feel number one but maybe a little biased.

    Saw 1 thumbs down. Who in the hell could disagree with what you wrote?? and why? Would love to know.

  34. By T-Roy on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    Chris, I say Oh Yeah to that (If DW comes back we’d have best ILB tandem in league). I truly believe that. ANSWERS, please. That is all anyone wants. ANSWERS. This is frigging ridiculous. Bit Tom B gets Suspended; Appeal meeting; Probably reduced sentence; and then basically a slap on his hand. like we believed anything less would happen in New England. Yet, DW, suspended a year +, ask for reinstatement, then still up to 14 + months, still no answers. I truly, truly believe, being an NFL fan for over 45 years, that if we had a STAR or Red, Whit, Blue on our helmets, we all would have heard an answer already. Darren, I believe in you and the way you keep CARDS fans up to date. I really question this situation with DW. Also, how come no one from the NFLPA has steeped for DW? Is there more to it than we know? The NFLPA always steps up when your name is Tom or Tony or even Rice. Come on people. The fans, who pay the salaries for these multi-millionaires, have the right to know the whole truth. TELL US!!! Lastly, this also keeps SK and BA from making very important decisions for our future with or without DW. I have one for you; what do they say on ESPN; “Come on, Man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CARDS 4 Life

  35. By Dynosoar on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply


    I don’t know if he can translate college to the NFL, but Alani Fua made the highlight reels seems like every week. With two good (not currently great, but good) local teams (BYU and University of Utah), that says something to me.

    Max Hall didn’t make the highlight reels every week, Alani did. When a linebacker gets more footage than a QB, what does that say?

    Then again, he went undrafted in a position of need for most teams. Be interesting to see how this one plays out. (Sorry, bad pun was intended. Haha!)

    Whether it’s a payer or a scheme, we put pressure on opposing QBs and it showed with 11 wins last season and 10 the season before. That’s a whole lot better than the two 11 loss seasons in the previous years that led to Coach Whiz being let go.

    We’re in good hands. Arians and staff have this.

  36. By jerbear55 on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    If he was on the Cowboys or Patriots, he would have been reinstated about a month ago….

  37. By All day on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    I think everyone is foregetting some holes we have. Middle Linebacker and a pass rush. Daryl brings both. And as much as everyone is saying they don’t care if he comes back to the cardinals etc. we need him. Point blank. Minter is not gonna be the guy. Weatherspoon is unreliable and Foote is coaching now. We need him back badly. If he comes back we are a legit of the legit contenders because he brings the whole defense together.

  38. By Austin on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    I really wish Darren would actually do his job instead of just acting like he knows everything. He acts like he knows all of these inside details that we don’t but never uses it. I am a bigger fan and could do a better job than him or that idiot josh weinfuss. This exact article was already written on like 5 websites the same way. Also when fans ask a question on your “awesome” weekly chat, don’t be a condescending you know what. I don’t know how many times I’ve read your bs comments acting like you’re the man and the person asking legit questions is below you. I wish I could write for the team so I can put you to shame. I don’t know who’s worse you or weinfuss, and that’s saying something considering he does his ESPN pieces (that no one watches) in his backyard in front of a wall……

  39. By Austin on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    It’s funny how when I write a comment questioning Darren’s blog. (Not in a malicious way) just pointing out obvious facts about his work, he doesn’t approve the comment. You mine as well should have copied ESPN story word for word on the same subject. Your condescending comments towards your “awesome” weekly chat is a comical. Good job Darren ! You just put a 7 year old cards fan in check by reposting his question and fact checking him. I think I’ve come to the fact that weinfuss has actually passed you on the totem pole for cards reporting. That’s embarrassing considering his work….

  40. By Darren Urban on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    Austin –

    RE: comment approval

    I was traveling today, which is why the comments weren’t approved right away. Don’t feel bad – there were 13 others in the same boat.

  41. By Sean on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    I’ve already seen this article on ESPN. No new info here. We need dw58 back ASAP go cards

  42. By taylor091 on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    I’m not even looking at this as a Cardinals fan anymore. I truly hope Daryl has turned a corner in his personal life regarding substances. Sure as fans we hope a good player comes back from suspension and performs at old levels, but thats just greed from our perspective. These guys risk their health and from 20-30 earn the most they ever will in their lives. After football it is all downhill, financially speaking, and fans do not care once players have left their team, see Dockett.

    Daryl, good luck and thanks for the four years you put your body on the line!

  43. By jeffcardinalfan on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    hopefully dw will get his life together and if he helps us, that’s great, but I honestly feel that if HE WERE A COWBOY he would have been reinstated some time ago.

  44. By Cardman on Jul 17, 2015 | Reply

    I used to think that nobody could run the US justice system worse than our politicians. But I think Goodell and company would give them a good run for their money. As if it takes months to go through all the evidence in the Tom Brady case. Give me a break! About DWash, if he plays, great, if not, we’ll manage somehow. But an update would be nice. Both the players and the NFL need to get together and figure out a more transparent displinary process for the fans.

  45. By brian480480 on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    No matter anyone’s opinion of DW past actions on or off the field, 45 days is 45 days and 60 days is 60 day. When the league can not or will not abide by their own rules, reinstatement, should be automatic.

  46. By James maguire on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    Haha all these people commenting on oh he’s a pot head and he’s smoking weed he’s an idiot blah blah blah yea the domestic violence case I agree should be punished but I honestly can’t believe the league can sit there and say no we don’t want you smoking this harmless drug to help with pain but here is a couple pills that are not only harmful but extremely addictive!!!! And this is coming from a person who worked in a detox center where we would have police officers and firefighter coming into a drug rehab place because they were given these prescription pills that they are now hooked on… Makes a lot of sense to me oh and this is coming from someone who hates the smell the taste everything about weed

  47. By Rich Atchley on Jul 25, 2015 | Reply

    Goodell says its his job to protect the shield. All he’s doing is upsetting the fan bases with all the inconsistencies and long delays. It almost seems like a strategy to delay these processes. Either that or Goodell has the influence of another owner or owners whispering in his ear to keep Washington out as long as possible. I think everyone knows the Cards are already really good. The addition of DWash could make the D dominant. Maybe that’s what Goodell doesn’t want. Either way, the unnecessary delays are upsetting. Make a ruling. Unless you have other motives, Goodell. Sure looks that way.

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