It has been almost three full seasons since Daryl Washington has been able to play an NFL football game. Washington received his indefinite suspension from the NFL on May 30, 2014 after he served a four-game suspension in 2013. On April 25, 2017, he was finally reinstated.
He played his first three and three-quarter seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, who subsequently released him on May 11, 2017. Does he have a future in the NFL? Can he pick up where he left off?
He was a great, young player when he was on the field. In his lone 16-start season (2012), he compiled 134 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 pick, and 2 forced fumbles. He made the Pro Bowl that season, then dealt with a series of career changing suspensions.
Washington claims he’s in the best shape of his life, a common claim among players who are forced to step away from the game.
Now that he has a fresh start, where does he fit in best?
The short answer: any team that needs a middle or inside linebacker. He’s only 30 years old, and that’s after three years of rest. He should have a Grand Canyon sized chip on his shoulder, too. He will end up being a steal for whichever team he lands on this season.
- If Washington has enough in the tank to be “the guy” in the middle of a defense, then Oakland would be the best spot for him. We already know they take fliers on troubled players (Aldon Smith, Gareon Conley). Oakland employs a solid defensive front with DPOY Khalil Mack, Mario Edwards Jr., Bruce Irvin, and Justin Ellis. Add Washington in with them, a young secondary, and an offense that is within inches of being championship ready? This team could win a Super Bowl before they even move to Vegas.
- Just like with the Raiders, Washington would be joining a stellar defense that employs a DPOY in J.J. Watt, as well as a former no. 1 overall pick in Jadeveon Clowney. Although Houston seems set at inside linebacker with Benardrick McKinney and veteran Brian Cushing, Washington could easily replace Cushing in the starting lineup. Cushing had one of his worst seasons in 2016 and the team could be looking to upgrade if the opportunity fits. Houston’s defense is one of the best in the league, and they play in arguably the worst division in football, which should be attractive for a player like Washington. The catch: Houston’s offense is currently a question mark with a quarterback competition between Tom Savage and first-rounder Deshaun Watson.
- Washington would fit nicely with Jerry Jones and a star on his helmet. Dallas needs help on defense after this offseason. They lost three starters in the secondary, have a below average linebacking corps, and their pass rushers have dealt with suspensions recently. Washington would need to be a general in the middle of this defense. Is he ready to come back after a three-year hiatus and control a defense? Dallas was the epitome of an over achiever in 2016 on both sides of the ball. I can see the offense taking a step forward with the wunderkind QB and RB combo. The defense? It needs work. Washington can help.
- There’s really only one question left on this defense. The offense? A completely different story. Who will start next to C.J. Mosley? Zach Orr was phenomenal last year. Unfortunately, he had to retire due to health issues, which leaves a hole in the middle of the defense. Baltimore has added quite a few outstanding pieces to this defense this offseason. Dean Pees’ mouth has probably been watering throughout this entire offseason, beginning with the signings of Tony Jefferson, Brandon Carr, and Lardarius Webb, as well as the defense-heavy draft. Washington, who has had a domestic violence suspension, is a longshot to be signed by this team. But, for the sake of an attractive landing spot, Baltimore should be on Washington’s wish list.
Cardinals Acquire Kenyan Drake
The Arizona Cardinals have acquired veteran running back Kenyan Drake from the Miami Dolphins for a conditional 2020 draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Per the report, the Dolphins will receive a 2020 sixth-round pick that can become a fifth-round pick as part of the deal.
The move had been expected since it was announced that Drake was not traveling with the Dolphins for their Monday Night tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a Drake trade had been rumored since the start of the season.
While Drake e has been historically under-utilized during his tenure with the Dolphins, and seemed to be towards the bottom of the backfield rotation,at times, this season.
Drake has rushed for 174 yards this season.
The Cardinals add a playmaking element to a backfield in desperate need of some help as both David Johnson and Chase Edmonds have been dealing with injuries that are likely to keep them from playing in Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Drake is expected to be available for that game, and could also contribute in special teams as well.
Drake is in a contract year, and could get a chance to get some solid playing time in the Cardinals’ backfield.
For the Dolphins, it is another pick added to an impressive stockpile for the 2020 draft. Miami has 13 total picks in 2020 including three first round picks, two second rounders, and two expected compensatory pick, and their own draft pick is expected to be the #1 overall pick.
Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill Dies at 88
Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill died on Wednesday at the age of 88 while surrounded by his family and loved ones, according to a team announcement.
Bidwill is survived by his five children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
“We are overwhelmed by the support our family has received, not only now but throughout the latest chapter of his life,” Bidwill’s son, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, said in a release (h/t ESPN). “We are especially grateful to the nurses, doctors and other caregivers whose endless kindness and compassion in recent years have made our dad’s life so meaningful.
“Above all else, we will remember him as a man devoted to the three central pillars of his life — his immense faith, his love for his family and his life-long passion for the Cardinals and the sport of football.”
Bill Bidwill’s father, Charles, bought the Chicago Cardinals in 1932 and Bill has been associated with the organization for eight decades, starting as a ball boy as a child and went to work for the team full time back in 1960, which was the team’s first season i St. Louis.
Bill become owner back in 1972 and moved the team to Arizona in 1988.
“Bill Bidwill was part of the NFL family his entire life, starting from his days as a ball boy through his time as an owner,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a an official statement.
“Although never one to seek the spotlight, Bill had an incredible sense of humor and he made extraordinary contributions to the NFL. Bill’s vision brought the Cardinals, the NFL and multiple Super Bowls to Arizona. He was a leader in embracing diversity and employed the first African American female executive, and the first African American general manager and head coach tandem. We extend our condolences to Bill’s family and the Cardinals organization, which along with his faith, meant so much to him.”
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Cardinals Sign Michael Crabtree
It took two times, but the Arizona Cardinals were finally able to finalize a deal with veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
According to ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, the Cardinals have added Crabtree on a one-year deal that was inked on Wednesday night, and comes two weeks after the team had Crabtree in for a tryout during training camp.
The addition of Crabtree came on the same day that the Cardinals released wide receiver Kevin White, and on the same week that rookie wide receiver Hakeem Butler suffered a fractured hand.
Crabtree and the Cardinals were unable to workout a deal the first time around as the two sides were not able to agree on the financial aspects of the contract.
The release of White is another disappointing turn in his career. A former highly-touted first round pick of the Chicago Bears back in 2015, White has been unable to stay healthy and was limited to only 14 games during his four years in Chicago, which led to his exit from the Bears.
White had been hoping to turn things around with a fresh start in Arizona, but now he will have to try and find a new team to get on board with.
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