Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is due in court in early July for the next proceedings related to assault charges brought against him following a May arrest for allegedly grabbing his girlfriend by the throat and throwing her to the floor.
Should that case reach a conclusion before the start of the 2013 season, Washington could face discipline from the league under the Personal Conduct Policy and that might extend his early season absence beyond the four-game suspension Washington will serve for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. It’s the kind of baggage that makes it hard to feel too secure about what Washington will bring to the team in 2013, something coach Bruce Arians acknowledged during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Alex Marvez and Bill Polian.
“Well, it’s all up to him. He’s had double incidents and, as an organization, that throws a red flag up,” Arians said. “But I think Daryl is a very bright young man who understands the mistakes he’s made and he’s walking a very thin line in the league right now. Super talented, but you have to adhere to the rules.”
The makeup of the Cardinals linebacking corps speaks to their uneasiness about Washington’s status. The Cardinals drafted Kevin Minter in the second round in April after learning of Washington’s suspension and then signed Karlos Dansby in May after Washington’s arrest, giving them two more options at inside linebacker. Those moves came after the additions of free agents Lorenzo Alexander and Jasper Brinkley before any of the bad news about Washington came to light and give the Cardinals enough depth to survive an absence of any length.
That’s not the ideal situation because, as Arians said, Washington’s got an extra level of talent working in his favor. You have to plan for a rainy day, though, and it’s definitely cloudy over Washington.