Daryl Washington might help give Cardinals best inside linebacker group

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Now this is an intriguing question with an intricate answer.

The answer, unfortunately, really depends on one thing: What type of shape is Daryl Washington in? But the only way that the Arizona Cardinals will find out is if they put the linebacker -- conditionally reinstated in April after a lengthy substance-abuse suspension -- through a workout. And the only way they put him through a workout is if they’re satisfied enough with their meeting with him.

See? It’s not a cut-and-dry answer.

If he’s healthy and in good shape, then I think yes, he could make the linebackers room better. He was, at one point in his career, a Pro Bowl player. So, if he can return with the speed and strength he had in 2013, the Cardinals will be getting a the same talent with fewer miles on his legs.

Let’s continue this answer under the premise that, yes, the Cardinals are OK welcoming him back to the team, he’s healthy and he’s in shape. Imagine combining him with Deone Bucannon, Karlos Dansby, Haason Reddick, Gabe Martin and Alani Fua. That might be the one of the best inside-linebacker corps in the league. The things defensive coordinator James Bettcher and inside-linebackers coach Larry Foote could do with that combination of talent would be quite interesting to see.

However, on the flip side of all this, the answer is pretty obvious but still needs to be addressed: He wouldn’t make that room better if he’s not healthy or in shape.