Cardinals' LB Washington has appeal denied by NFL
Unfortunately, Washington followed up his breakout season with a violation of the league's substance abuse policy that led to a four-game suspension. Washington appealed the suspension, but reports suggested that he "[wouldn't] have an audience with commissioner Roger Goodell." Those reports have rung true, as the NFL has denied Washington's appeal of his four-game ban.
The fact that Washington was arrested in early May on two counts of aggravated assault surely did not help his case with the league. Though he is one of the game's bright young defensive stars, red flags are beginning to pile up on Washington. If the assault charges are settled against his favor before the start of the regular season, the league could extend Washington's punishment to more than the current four-game suspension.
The Cardinals' defense will certainly take a blow as a result of Washington's absence, but they do have some solid pieces to fill in. Karlos Dansby, who played well for the Dolphins last season, will hold down one inside linebacker spot in the Cardinals' 3-4 defense, while Jasper Brinkley and recent second-round pick Kevin Minter will compete for snaps at the other.