Daryl Washington: I’m a better player and person than before

AP

Linebacker Daryl Washington is a free agent after being released by the Cardinals last week, leaving him in need to find a new team to play for if he is going to continue the NFL career put on hold before the 2014 season by a suspension under the substance-abuse policy.

That will take some salesmanship on Washington’s part when it comes to convincing potential suitors that he can both help them on the field and stay out of trouble off of it. Washington engaged in some of that salesmanship during an appearance on NFL on TuneIn’s “NFL No Huddle” with Brian Webber and Kordell Stewart that’s set to air on Wednesday afternoon.

Washington said that he thinks he’s “better than I was when I came in” when it comes to his ability on the field, which was good enough to get him a Pro Bowl berth and a spot on the Associated Press All-Pro second team in 2012. He’s also confident that he’s a better person away from the game as well.

“Obviously, from a standpoint I’ve grown and matured over the years of being able to kind of really appreciate life and appreciate the game that I took for granted at one point,” Washington said. “When you feel like your on top of the world. When your on that pedestal, you feel like everything is easy and nothing would happen. But once it’s taken away from you, you really feel that much more grateful for the opportunity to just say, you know what, I really took these things for granted so when I get back now it’s time to go even harder. At this point in my life, I feel much better mentally, physically, spiritually and I’m in that right mind frame.”

It remains to be seen if any teams will take the bait, but it won’t take long to find out how things stand on the field for Washington if they do.