For the Cardinals, it wasn’t much different.
“We promptly said ‘this can wait,’” Cardinals president and owner Michael Bidwill said on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio with Adam Schein. “‘We’re going to focus on the draft,’ which we did. … Really, this week is the week that we’re focusing on it.”
Now that the draft has come and gone, the time seems appropriate for the Cardinals to come to a decision on Washington, whose off-field troubles have kept him away from the organization since his suspension in May 2014. Bidwill knows the time is coming, but also knows this is no light matter to be handled over coffee.
“I don’t see this as a 30-minute meeting,” Bidwill said. “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 that we’re going to go through just than having a meeting. I think 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 here soon.
“This is the first time we’ve dealt with a situation like this,” Bidwill continued. “I will speak generally: We need to know that this isn’t going to happen again, that he’s accepted responsbility for what happened and what he had done. … professionally that they’re going to be good to go moving forward and that we’re comfortable having him around.”
When Washington was suspended, he was considered one of the brightest young stars in Arizona’s defense, an inside linebacker who had the rare ability to excel in pass rushing and pass coverage. After the suspension, general manager Steve Keim was sharp-tongued in his statement, saying Washington’s actions were “completely unacceptable.”
Has time healed the wounds caused by Washington’s repeated rule-breaking? Perhaps, but the Cardinals will undoubtedly do their due diligence is determining whether Washington is a changed man, and if he has a place in Arizona.