There is a verse in the bible that asks how many times will you forgive your brother for his trespasses. That is the question the Arizona Cardinals and its fan base are forced to finally answer concerning suspended linebacker Daryl Washington.
After a three and a half year suspension for several transgressions, Washington was granted reinstatement by the NFL, pending completion of specific conditions put in place that would gradually give him the opportunity to resume his playing career.
In a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Washington was quoted about his return:
“I’m honored and humbled to be back in the National Football League, these last 3 years have been the most difficult of my life without the game I love so much. That said, I’ve used this time to make tremendous strides as a man and have grown into a proud husband, father, and contributing member of my community”
Who are we to question a man and what he has been through. We all have done some wrong at some point in our lives. If you’re completely honest just look behind you in your own closet I’m positive you will find a few skeletons that you dealt with or are still dealing with. Let’s not pass judgment before we look and see the evidence.
Although domestic violence and drug abuse are serious crimes that are rampant in our society, we should always open the door to a fellow man that is willing to make a change in his own life for the good.
From a football business standpoint, Daryl Washington is still Cardinals property, and it is their job to do their due diligence to see if the ex-all-pro linebacker still has something to offer that could help the team. It would not make any sense to have held on to him for a full three seasons and pay his ten-million-dollar salary, just to allow him back to let him go without knowing if he can help you or not.
The team released a statement of its own and said in regard to Washington being reinstated, “Considering we have been prohibited from having any contact with him over the last three years, it would be premature today to discuss a potential return to the team,”
The only way to find out if Washington (now 30 years of age) can help you as a team is to put him out on the field and see what he has left. Three years is a long period of time to be away from the game, and getting into football shape will be the hardest obstacle.
“Physically I’m in the best shape of my life and have maintained a strenuous 6-day per week workout plan for over a year in anticipation of this day and next season. I understand the physical and mental demands that it takes to be an All-Pro linebacker in this League, and I fully intend to play at that level this season” said Washington in a statement.
The NFL has a history of allowing troubled guys to come back after serving their suspensions and or paying their debt to society. So, a D-wash return to the field will take place regardless if it’s with the Cardinals or not, because some team will take a flyer on him, that’s the way of today’s sports world.