The last time linebacker Daryl Washington played in an NFL game was December of 2013. He hasn’t spoken publicly about his long absence but recently ended his silence. I spoke with Washington on Friday about his current suspension, and he claims he'll apply for reinstatement when the new league calendar begins in March.

Washington said, "I'm optimistic moving forward when it comes to being reinstated in 2017." His latest claim is that he hasn't missed or failed any drug tests. In fact, he was tested last Friday and had a three-hour window to submit his test. He was also tested on New Year's Eve and randomly tested about seven to 10 times per month.

He has been suspended since May 30th, 2014 for violating the substance abuse policy; he failed to appear for random testing and tested positive on others. This violation was his second for substance abuse and caused him to miss the entire 2014 season.

Washington's probation, the punishment for pleading guilty to aggravated assault in March 2014, was reduced by two months, according to court documents. His charge was classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony, and he served ten months of probation, which ended February 11th, 2015.

During Washington's probation, he completed a 36-week domestic violence program and submitted to drug and alcohol testing without incident, according to court documents.

Washington has been on the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended list, and his base salary doesn't count against the salary cap. The Cardinals have been trying to recover some of his signing money over the last couple years. He enters the final year of his contract with Arizona, and if or when the Cardinals release him, they would have $2.5 million in dead money against the 2017 cap.

To clarify, Washington hasn't been truthful with the Cardinals in the past, and they haven’t discussed his future publicly since his suspension; I'm only reporting what he recently expressed to me about his future in the NFL.


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