Arizona Cardinals fans are really not going to like this story. The team’s Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended for the entire 2014 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Fox Sports’ Mike Jurecki reported on Twitter.
Washington had previously been suspended for four games last season for another substance abuse violation.
Besides sitting out the whole year, Washington will also forfeit one year’s worth of pay, which includes his $2.9 million base salary and a $100,000 workout bonus, SB Nation reports.
In response, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said in a statement:
“It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position. We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them. From a personal standpoint, our hope is that this suspension will give Daryl the opportunity to accept the necessary help and guidance to get his life back on track and we will certainly support him however we can.
“As it pertains to our team, our approach is the same as it’s always been: next man up. We talk a lot about how critical depth is to a team because situations always arise where you lose players, whether by injury or other circumstances such as this one. One player’s absence is another’s opportunity. That approach has served us well in the past and we will rely on it now.”
Washington’s agent Jordan Woy posted a statement from his client on Twitter, in which the football player takes responsibility for the situation, which he says involved marijuana, and apologizes to his teammates and fans:
“I recently learned that I had violations of the NFL Substances of Abuse policy related to marijuana. The Policy is very strict, and I have chosen to take responsibility. I am committed to making changes in my life that will allow me to return to the NFL as soon as possible. I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape, and will work equally as hard to ensure that my life off the field meets the high level of maturity and responsibility to which I am committed. I sincerely apologize for the effect of my actions on my teammates, coaches and other colleagues at the Cardinals. I also apologize to Cardinals fans for the time I will miss. I will work diligently during this suspension and will return a better man and football player.”