It’s been over three full years since Daryl Washington last played in an NFL game. He’s been suspended indefinitely throughout the last three seasons after substance-abuse violations and a guilty plea to an aggravated assault charge landed him in the NFL’s doghouse in May, 2014.
Washington hasn’t abandoned hope of returning to the field at some point in the future. According to Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910-AM in Phoenix, Washington intends to apply for reinstatement with the start of the new league year in March.
“I’m optimistic moving forward when it comes to being reinstated in 2017,” Washington said.
Washington appeared to be one of the league’s rising stars on the defensive side of the ball. He made the Pro Bowl and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2012 after making 134 tackles with an interception and two forced fumbles for the Arizona Cardinals.
Washington is now 30 years old and hasn’t played football in a long time. He said he hasn’t failed or missed any more drugs tests while on suspension and noted he’s tested 7-10 times a month. Despite those claims, he has previously violated terms of his suspension and head coach Bruce Arians said it was a “waste of breath” to even discuss Washington’s status.
Even if he is reinstated, he may not get a chance from another NFL team. Given the reinstatement process for Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith, it seems like Washington likely won’t get that chance any time soon anyway.