Bruce Arians wants more structure for Daryl Washington, other suspended players

TEMPE, Ariz. – There were two players that Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians wouldn’t talk about during the NFL owners meetings: Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, because he’s under contract with another team; and Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington, because he’s still serving a suspension for at least a year.

“I really can’t even talk about Daryl,” Arians said. “He’s not even a part of our team, so there’s no sense in talking about him.”

Washington is approaching the 10-month mark of his suspension, which the NFL said would last at least a year when it banned him on May 30, 2014. On March 30, Washington can begin the reinstatement process, which will be decided upon by commissioner Roger Goodell.

Last week, Washington expressed his desire to have a “fresh start” when he returns to the NFL.

Since his suspension began, Washington has not been allowed to return to the Cardinals’ practice facility – one facet of suspensions that Arians strongly disagrees with.

Asked what he would change in the NFL’s approach to suspended players, Arians was staunch in his support of not removing them from an organized environment.

“I would definitely not isolate them from the only structure in their life,” Arians said. “You have to make sure they have structure in their life.

“Hopefully, that structure will help them overcome the problem – not turn them loose on themselves because obviously when they’re by themselves, they can’t handle it.”