PHOENIX — The NFL has suspended Arizona Cardinals standout inside linebacker Daryl Washington for one year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The punishment, announced Friday, was for substance abuse and did not mention his recent guilty plea to assaulting his ex-girlfriend. He still could face a later suspension for the criminal conviction.
Washington, in a statement released by his agent, said the penalty was for marijuana, and that he takes responsibility for the violation. He said he “is committed to making changes” in his life that will allow him to return to the NFL.
Considered among the best in the NFL at his position, Washington was suspended the first four games of last season for violating the substance abuse policy.
“It is completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a statement released by the team. “We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them.”
Washington, the team leader in tackles in 2011 and 2012, will lose $2.9 million in salary, plus any prorated signing bonus money, because of the suspension.
In March, Arizona exercised a $10 million option to keep him on the roster. Washington received $5 million then and the deals calls for him to get the other $5 million next March.
However, the league’s collective bargaining agreement with players has a mechanism that allows the Cardinals to recoup a portion of that option money because of the substance abuse violation.
Washington said the NFL “policy is very strict, and I have chosen to take responsibility.”
“I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape,” he said, “and will work equally hard to ensure that my life off the field meets the high level of maturity and responsibility to which I am committed.”
Browns’ Gordon caught speeding
CLEVELAND — The Browns are aware Pro Bowl receiver Josh Gordon, facing a possible NFL suspension for another failed drug test, was ticketed for speeding last weekend. A passenger in his car was cited for marijuana possession.
Gordon was pulled over for driving 74 mph in a 60 mph zone on May 25, WKYC-TV reported Friday. According to the report, the passenger in Gordon’s Mercedes was issued a citation for possession of marijuana in an amount under 200 grams. The marijuana was found in a blue bag with identification. The passenger said the marijuana was not Gordon’s.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer said in a statement the team was gathering information and would not comment further.
Gordon was suspended two games last season for failing a drug test. Earlier this month, ESPN reported Gordon failed again, which could result in a one-year ban.
Giants safety Hill suspended 6 games
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants safety Will Hill was suspended for six games Friday by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Hill has failed three drug tests since 2012, and he lost an appeal for the latest infraction. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 13.
Hill was suspended for violating the performance enhancers policy two years ago, missing four games. He then missed the first four matches last season because of a substance abuse violation.
The Giants are expected to release Hill when his latest suspension ends.
Hill has played in just 24 games since being signed in 2012 as an undrafted free agent. He had two interceptions, returning one for a TD.
By wire sources