Ravens' Washington suspended for one game

WESTMINSTER -- Baltimore Ravens cornerback WESTMINSTER -- Fabian Washington was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for violating the league's personal-conduct policy, a punishment stemming from a domestic-violence arrest in February involving his girlfriend.

Acquired in a trade from the Oakland Raiders for a fourth round pick during the draft, Washington will miss the Ravens' Sept. 7 season-opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium with his suspension beginning Aug. 30. He is allowed to participate in all preseason practices and games.

Washington was arrested at his home in East Manatee County , Fla. , following an altercation with his 21-year-old girlfriend after a responding police officer noticed a red mark on the neck of Washington 's 21-year-old girlfriend.

"I put myself in a bad situation, and I did not handle it the right way," said Washington, who was served with a paternity lawsuit during the offseason to determine if he is the father of his girlfriend's infant daughter. "I was wrong and made a mistake. My girlfriend, my attorney and I wanted a quick resolution and knew that a suspension could happen."

The arresting officer wrote in a police report, "I observed slight red marks on the victim's neck," after responding to the woman's emergency call.

Washington , 24, has denied that the altercation became physical.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was told by a judge that he will avoid prosecution if he completes a 26-week intervention program for first-time offenders and stays out of trouble. His girlfriend had said that she didn't want charges to be filed.

The Ravens learned of the NFL disciplinary action between practices today at McDaniel College , but this wasn't a completely surprising development.

"We had knowledge of Fabian's situation prior to the trade we made for him," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Based on the NFL's personal conduct policy, and Fabian's agreement with the authorities, we knew that a suspension was a possibility. Fabian knows his actions were a mistake and has taken appropriate actions since then."

Considered the fastest rookie in the 2005 NFL draft with a 4.29 clocking in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, the former first-round draft pick is slated to compete with Samari Rolle for a starting job or at least be the Ravens' nickel back.

Washington lost his starting job in Oakland last season to Stanford Routt, but has run with the first-string defense since camp began because Rolle has yet to report following his father's death.

In three seasons with the Raiders, Washington recorded 112 tackles and five interceptions.

After reporting to the Ravens' training complex for a spring minicamp, Washington expressed confidence that his problems are behind him and said he's embracing a fresh start on and off the field.

Washington will be fined one game check, which amounts to roughly $44,000 of his $750,000 base salary.

"That was a one-time mistake," Washington said. "I've never been in trouble. That was me letting my emotions get the best of me. It's over and done with. I've moved on from it.".

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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