Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 May 2014

Daryl Washington Suspended for Entire 2014 Season

Well, this is as big as the Cowboys losing Sean Lee to a torn ACL. Arizona inside linebacker Daryl Washington will miss the entire season, suspended due to the league's substance abuse policy. That's actually a little bit of a surprise, if only because it seemed a more likely reason for the suspension was Washington's recent plea bargain for an assault charge. (Beating up your ex-girlfriend is not a good thing.) The Cardinals may need to scramble now for veterans to play next to Kevin Minter. They signed Larry Foote, but otherwise the depth chart at inside linebacker is all UDFAs in their first or second seasons.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 30 May 2014

23 comments, Last at 04 Jun 2014, 4:33pm by LionInAZ


by MilkmanDanimal :: Fri, 05/30/2014 - 4:28pm

Poor guy. I mean, if he'd only blown off steam by punching his girlfriend in the face rather than touching EVIL MARIJOOANA he'd have been fine.

by theslothook :: Fri, 05/30/2014 - 6:55pm

exactly! I remember donte stallworth driving drunk and killing a man and not only did he avoid jail completely(which is a sad reflection on our justice system), but he didn't have to sit out the year either.

by dmb :: Fri, 05/30/2014 - 7:45pm

You remember incorrectly. Stallworth was suspended for the entire 2009 season and spent 24 days in jail: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81639247/article/goodell-suspended...

Almost immediately upon reinstatement, his contract was terminated: http://blogs.nfl.com/2010/02/08/browns-terminate-stallworths-contract

I agree that it's still awfully light for ending someone's life, but on the other hand, there were a lot of extenuating circumstances. (If I recall correctly, the victim was jaywalking across a causeway during pre-dawn hours; Stallworth had also slept for a few hours prior to driving, and didn't realize he was still under the influence.)

And if you believe that deterrence and rehabilitation are more important than punishment as goals of the criminal justice system, the outcome looks even more reasonable: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/24484389/former-wr-donte-st...

I think Leonard Little is a far better example of an athlete who got off from a DUI much more easily than he should have.

by theslothook :: Fri, 05/30/2014 - 9:46pm

You are correct. Let me put it this way, given the structure of our legal system such as it is, I think Stallworth's crime is still worse than Mike Vick's dog fighting ring(though I recognize that many will not agree).

by dcaslin :: Sat, 05/31/2014 - 12:33am

I think that really depends on what you believe happened that day. It seems relatively uncontested that Stallworth was driving 50mph on a busy 40mph street and hit a guy that was outside of the crosswalk. He was clearly over the DUI legal limit (otherwise he wouldn't have gotten in as much trouble) but it's not clear how high, the only amount ever stated was 0.12 but that was by an "unnamed source". He wasn't even originally detained beyond a routine blood draw, so I suspect he wasn't extremely drunk. So it's possible that Stallworth's drunk driving led directly to the guy's death. It's also possible that this tragedy would have happened either way and Stallworth just happened to be over the legal limit and thus got charged with manslaughter instead of nothing. It was his first offense (of anything that I can tell).

The fact of the matter is that Stallworth was far less reckless and far more unlucky than plenty of other folks in the NFL that have gotten off with DUI slaps on the wrist (since, though they were far drunker and often second and third offenses, they were lucky enough not to kill anyone). Long story short, Stallworth's story is quite a bit different than Josh Brent's (multiple offenses, drunk as hell, driving 110mph and killed somebody), and I wish they weren't so casually lumped together.

by Theo :: Sat, 05/31/2014 - 8:52am

- drives too fast - in doing that you take a gamble with other people's lives. Especially in a street were people live.
- over the alcohol limit: it doesn't matter how much, any alcohol in your blood should be a stop sign for you to get in a car - these things just don't go together.
- "the guy was jaywalking": doesn't matter. You should drive in a way that you can stop for anything that crosses the road. Animals, children can cross the road at any time and you should keep that in mind.

by tuluse :: Sat, 05/31/2014 - 10:32pm

He went drinking, got a cab ride home, slept, and then went to drive to work.

This is something probably 50% of adults have done without giving it a second thought. I don't know about you, but I don't do a blood test every morning to see if there is any alcohol before I drive to work.

Also, speeding <= 10 miles over the limit is basically considered normal driving. The penalties are less severe and most cops don't even enforce it.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 06/03/2014 - 8:51am

" 'the guy was jaywalking': doesn't matter. You should drive in a way that you can stop for anything that crosses the road. Animals, children can cross the road at any time and you should keep that in mind."

I'm not sure that's actually possible... I have no idea what the circumstances of Stallworth's incident were, but it very much depends on what the visibility was and whether or not the person (or animal or children) ran out into the road suddenly, or were already out in the road with plenty of visibility to drivers.

Many animals and people get hit not because drivers are going too fast, but because they are crossing inappropriately - in many cases not realizing how quickly cars are actually approaching.

If we wanted to prioritize the safety of people or animals acting randomly, the speed limit everywhere would be 10 MPH.

by Guest789 :: Wed, 06/04/2014 - 4:04pm

"You should drive in a way that you can stop for anything that crosses the road. Animals, children can cross the road at any time and you should keep that in mind."

So you drive at 30kmh (20mph) on the highway then? This is just a ridiculous assertion. In residential neighbourhoods, sure, but certainly not all roads.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by tuluse :: Sat, 05/31/2014 - 1:01am

Mike Vick only got 1 year in prison. It's not like it was a throw away the key situation itself.

As always, the moral of the story is don't ever give the feds a reason to be involved.

by Steve in WI :: Sat, 05/31/2014 - 9:38pm

I couldn't disagree more. I think heinous acts of cruelty like Vick committed should always be punished more harshly than negligence. If there was any justice, nobody around the NFL would have any reason to talk about Vick because he'd be serving out a long enough term that he'd be too old to play by the time he got out. There's no place in civilized society for the kind of subhuman that could torture animals the way he did.

by theslothook :: Sat, 05/31/2014 - 11:48pm

This is getting into semantics, but if you believe in the cruelty of animals, then most slaughterhouses should be outlawed. THat also is true for how fois gras is made and I can probably find many more off PETA's website.

I would rather pose the question like this, if any of us had done what stallworth or leonard little did, would we have gotten the same penalty? Also, i don't think what Ray Rice did is defensible either.

by tuluse :: Sun, 06/01/2014 - 8:48pm

You'd be surprised what average people get away with. I know multiple people who were arrested for a DUI and then plea-bargained to no jail time.

Now, I don't know anyone who has actually hit, much less killed, another person while drunk driving. In general the justice system is designed to let first time offenders get off with minimal pain though.

by at :: Tue, 06/03/2014 - 2:31pm

There's no place in civilized society for the kind of subhuman who equates humans with animals. Seriously. Leave now. Your moral compass is so distorted that the rest of us can never tell when you'll decide to start eating toddler rather than chicken, since you can't tell the difference.

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 06/04/2014 - 9:28am

So, tell me, for example, where your moral compass points to in this one: what is worse, killing an animal for no reason or, say, nicking ten bucks from a human?

It's never going to be as clear-cut as you'd like it to be. The guy you are responding poses a fair question, is cruelty against an animal worse than negligence against a human? In the Vick vs Stallworth situation, I'd say definitely yes.

I'll just add that the further from ourselves a being is, the less importance we give to its feelings. More or less in order of priority: myself, my family, my city, my country, my race, my religion, my football team, my species, and then animals in order of similarity to humans with insects going dead last, even after plants. No one gives a crap about them. Except bees and butterflies, because we like them and need them.

Who, me?

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 06/04/2014 - 4:33pm

A civilized society is a humane society. Those who believe that humans always take precedence over humane treatment of animals are practicing the same moral relativism that condoned men beating their wives and children. I'm not opposed to hunting or eating meat (I enjoy meat myself). I don't like the attitude that wildlife and the environment are out there for humans to trash and misuse.

Your use of the term 'subhuman' is telling, because that was one of the justifications for enslavement of Africans.

by Steve in WI :: Sat, 05/31/2014 - 9:33pm

Yeah, without defending what he did, it's always mystified me a bit how Stallworth is talked about like he's the absolute worst person in the NFL when what he did amounts to a horrible mistake rather than a malevolent act like all of the woman beaters who've been basically forgiven by the fans. (To be clear, I'm not minimizing the impact of drunk driving or arguing that Stallworth didn't deserve jail time and a suspension...just that I'm much more inclined to think a drunk driver can be rehabilitated compared to a domestic abuser).

by Tim Wilson :: Sun, 06/01/2014 - 11:08am


by LionInAZ :: Fri, 05/30/2014 - 7:23pm

It *was* his fourth offense, and I'm sure breaking his ex's collarbone was a factor too.

by ChrisS :: Mon, 06/02/2014 - 11:41am

Do players for the broncos get a pass for marijuana use since it is legal in CO? Use might still be a federal crime.

by LionInAZ :: Mon, 06/02/2014 - 4:53pm

In our enlightened culture, private employers are not obligated to tolerate otherwise legal behavior, except for protected classes.

by tuluse :: Mon, 06/02/2014 - 5:55pm

The NFL doesn't have to test for marijuana at all. They do it because they want to.

by BDC :: Mon, 06/02/2014 - 6:31pm

Speaking of junkies, how is Jim Irsay doing?