Daryl Washington was recently reinstated by the NFL, but he won’t return as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals released Washington on Thursday. The linebacker met with team president Michael Bidwill, general manager Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians earlier this week.

“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.


“I want to thank the Cardinals organization, especially Mr. Bidwill and Steve Keim for drafting and believing in me, and their continued support,” Washington released in a statement. “We’ve had some really positive and productive discussions this week, and at the end of the day we mutually agreed it was best for both sides to get a fresh start. I’m in the best shape of my life, and very much look forward to the next opportunity, where I will again play at an All-Pro level and help my team make a championship run.”

Washington, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2013, was conditionally reinstated by the NFL earlier this week. He had been suspended since May 2014 for violating the league’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. The ban was tied to a marijuana violation, for which Washington sought counseling.

The Cardinals‘ decision to part ways with Washington came a day after Bidwill told Adam Schein on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio the team needed to process whether the linebacker could be part of their plans.

Arizona ultimately decided to let the 30-year-old linebacker pursue other opportunities.

Once one of the rangiest linebackers in the NFL, upon his reinstatement Washington insisted he was in the “best shape” of his life.

Given the time away from playing and off-field history, it would be a surprise if a team gave Washington a shot to play in 2017.

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