Linebacker Daryl Washington may have an NFL future, but it's not with the Arizona Cardinals.
After meeting with Washington earlier in the week to discuss his status following his conditional reinstatement to the NFL in April, the Cardinals announced Thursday that they have released Washington.
"After meeting with Daryl Washington, we have collectively decided it is best to release Daryl and give him the opportunity to continue his career elsewhere," the team said in a statement.
On Wednesday, team president and owner Michael Bidwill said the Cardinals were nearing their decision on Washington in a radio interview, and said the organization was reviewing a number of different factors related to the linebacker's potential return to the franchise.
"This is the week we're focusing on it," Bidwill said during an interview with Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio. "I don't see this as a 30-minute meeting. There's a lot that needs to go into this in our analysis because we haven't seen him in three years. There's a lot more process we're going to go through than just have a meeting. Everybody's got to be comfortable to put him back on the field. We're going to go through our process and hopefully have an answer one way or the other soon."
Washington signed a six-year contract extension with the Cardinals in the summer of 2012 that promised to keep him with the organization through the 2018 season, but following Washington's release, Arizona has now freed up cap space. According to overthecap.com, Washington's 2017 salary will count $1.875 million against the Cardinals' 2017 cap number, as opposed to the $4.875 million it would have counted had Washington remained with the organization.
Washington was suspended following the 2013 season for a domestic violence incident, and a range of other factors kept him off the field for the last three seasons. Washington, now 30 years old, received a conditional reinstatement to return to the NFL in April, but the Cardinals have decided that his return will not take place with the organization.