Cardinals LB Daryl Washington Arrested for Aggravated Assault

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMay 3, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 18:  Daryl Washington #58 of the Arizona Cardinals intercepts a pass from Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 18, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington was arrested on Friday and booked into jail on two counts of aggravated assault.

Phoenix's FOX 10 news reporter Mia Garcia broke the news:

CBS' Colton Shone has more on the altercation:

Police say on Wednesday, Washington went to his ex-girlfriend's house to see their 5-month-old daughter. Court paperwork says they got into a fight and Washington allegedly grabbed his ex's neck and choked her near her apartment. Police say they got into a second fight in the parking lot, where she was pushed to the ground and broke her collarbone.

Selected as a second-round pick in 2010 from Texas Christian University, Washington blossomed into a Pro Bowl player for Arizona in 2012.

Washington set team highs in total tackles with 134 and sacks with nine. He also forced two fumbles, broke up four passes and registered an interception.

This comes as distressing news to the Cardinals, who are in flux under a new coaching regime led by Bruce Arians.

Last year's defensive coordinator, Ray Horton, is no longer around, and his exotic schemes were key in helping Arizona get off to a 4-0 start this past season. Unfortunately, the Cards collapsed down the stretch to finish 5-11. 

It remains to be seen how the Cardinals will adjust under the guidance of Todd Bowles, but Washington's presence in the heart of the defense will be vital to a quick turnaround.

Unfortunately, Washington is already facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy in addition to whatever ramifications come as a result of this recent news.

In the difficult NFC West division—particularly with all of its great defenses—losing Washington for any significant amount of time would be a big blow to the rebuilding team.

This development will in all likelihood thrust rookie second-round-pick Kevin Minter into position for an immediate starting role. Minter, an ex-LSU Tiger, will gain valuable experience no matter how long Washington takes to sort out his legal situation—and how long he's ultimately away from the field.

Ideally, though, the 26-year-old Washington will be in the fold, but as long as it's without one of its emerging franchise cornerstones, the Cardinals' new regime will likely struggle in year one.