PHOENIX -- The NFL has suspended Arizona Cardinals standout inside linebacker Daryl Washington for one year for violating the leagues substance abuse policy. The punishment, announced Friday, was for substance abuse and did not mention his recent guilty plea to assaulting his ex-girlfriend. He still could face a later suspension for the criminal conviction. Washington, in a statement released by his agent, said the penalty was for marijuana, and that he takes responsibility for the violation. He said he "is committed to making changes" in his life that will allow him to return to the NFL. Considered among the best in the NFL at his position, Washington was suspended the first four games of last season for violating the substance abuse policy. "It is completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position," Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a statement released by the team. "We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them." Washington, the team leader in tackles in 2011 and 2012, will lose $2.9 million in salary, plus any prorated signing bonus money, due to the suspension. In March, Arizona exercised a $10 million option to keep him on the roster. Washington received $5 million then and the deals calls for him to get the other $5 million next March. However, the leagues collective bargaining agreement with players has a mechanism that allows the Cardinals to recoup a portion of that option money because of the substance abuse violation. Washington said the NFL "policy is very strict, and I have chosen to take responsibility." "I will work extremely hard to stay in top football shape," he said, "and will work equally hard to ensure that my life off the field meets the high level of maturity and responsibility to which I am committed." With the loss of inside linebacker Karlos Dansby to free agency, the Cardinals find themselves without the dynamic combination that was a big part of their strong defence last season. Second-year player Kevin Minter is slotted to take Dansbys place. Just what the team will do to try to replace Washington is unclear. "Our approach is the same as its always been: next man up," Keim said. "We talk a lot about how critical depth is to a team because situations always arise whether by injury or other circumstances such as this one." After leading the team with 111 tackles in his second NFL season, Washington signed a six-year contract, adding four years and $32 million to his existing deal. In 2012, he led the team with career highs of 140 tackles and nine sacks and made the Pro Bowl. But in April of last year, the NFL suspended him four games for violating the substance abuse policy. A month later, he was arrested on accusations of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, the mother of the couples child. He pleaded guilty to two counts of assault earlier this year. A suspension for the criminal conviction had been expected. The penalty for substance abuse came as a surprise to some, but apparently not to Washingtons teammates. "Old news to us, new news to yall," defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said in a tweet. Keim said "our hope is that this suspension will give Daryl the opportunity to accept the necessary help and guidance to get his life back on track," Keim said, "and we will certainly support him however we can." When OTAs resumed this week, coach Bruce Arians said he hoped the team could pick up another outside linebacker. The Cardinals signed veteran Larry Foote in the off-season, and outside linebacker Lorenzo Washington also can play inside. Minter, a second-round draft pick, played almost entirely on special teams as a rookie. Another player Arizona has at inside linebacker is Kenny Demens, an undrafted rookie free agent a year ago who spent last season on the Cardinals practice squad. "I sincerely apologize for the effect of my actions on my teammates, coaches and other colleagues at the Cardinals," Washington said. "I also apologize to Cardinals fans for the time I will miss. I will work diligently during this suspension to return as a better man and football player." Wilt Chamberlain Lakers Jersey
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.J. - The New Jersey Devils know the odds are against them as they chase a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.CHICAGO - Mark Buehrle felt a little more nervous and a little more emotional than he thought he would. The pitcher received a standing ovation from the crowd as he took the mound against his former Chicago White Sox teammates. Buehrle tipped his cap and then allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings in his first start as a visitor in Chicago and third game against the White Sox overall. The Toronto starter didnt earn a decision, but the Blue Jays beat the White Sox 6-3 on Saturday night. Melky Cabreras two-run double in the seventh inning was the difference in Torontos win. "The reception I got, I was kind of thinking it might be good, but what they did, coming off the field every time I ran out, to hear people cheering, it was exceptional," Buehrle said. Buehrle texted former teammate, and White Sox captain, Paul Konerko to make sure it was OK that he tipped his cap to the crowd. "Its one of those things that I didnt want to (tick) anybody off on the other team, but at the same time the reaction I was getting from the crowd, I felt it was right," Buehrle said. The Blue Jays, who snapped a four-game losing streak, scored three runs in the seventh to retake the lead after the White Sox tied it with three runs in the sixth. Avisail Garcia went 2 for 4 with a double for the White Sox in his first game since April 9 after recovering from shoulder surgery. Brett Cecil (1-3) got two outs — both by strikeout — to earn the win. Casey Janssen worked one inning for his 19th save in 22 opportunities. The Blue Jays allowed Buehrle to take the field alone before the bottom of the first inning, and fans gave him a standing ovation. While with the White Sox from 2000-11, Buehrle threw a perfect game on July 23, 2009, against Tampa Bay, and a no-hitter on April 18, 2007, against Texas. "Im kind of glad its over," said Konerko, a teammate of Buehrles on the 2005 World Series championship White Sox team. "Him in another uniform doesnt look right to me. Quite honestly, I really dont have it in me to want to see him do badly, so I dontt like the combination.ddddddddddddquot; The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead on Dioner Navarros sacrifice fly and Nolan Reimolds RBI single in the second. Toronto extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth on Jose Reyes RBI single. The White Sox tied it with three runs in the sixth. With runners on first and second, Dustin McGowan replaced Buehrle. "It was starting to snowball," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said about removing Buehrle. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Dayan Viciedos sacrifice fly made it 3-2. Konerko tied it with a single, but the White Sox bullpen gave the lead back in the next inning. The Blue Jays scored three runs with two singles, two doubles and a Chicago error. Matt Lindstrom (2-2) allowed four straight hits before recording an out. Cabrera hit a two-run double and advanced on an error. Jose Bautista followed with an RBI single for a 6-3 lead. Buehrle has one victory in his last 13 starts. "I take pride going deep into games, and I didnt really go deep into the game today, so thats the frustrating part," he said. TRAINERS ROOM Blue Jays: 1B Dan Johnson began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday. He is on the DL with a strained left hamstring. Toronto also called up RHP Kyle Drabek from Triple-A to replace RHP Chad Jenkins, who was optioned to Buffalo on Friday. Drabek began the season in the Triple-A rotation, where he went 4-6 with a 4.46 ERA. After the first-round draft pick moved to the bullpen in mid-June, his numbers improved. In 16 relief appearances, he was 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA. White Sox: Garcia was reinstated from the 60-day DL, and OF Moises Sierra (oblique) went on the 15-day DL on Saturday. The White Sox also recalled LHP Eric Surkamp from Triple-A Charlotte, placed RHP Javy Guerra on the bereavement list, and designated LHP Charlie Leesman for assignment before Saturdays game. UP NEXT In the finale of the three-game series Sunday, Toronto starts RHP Drew Hutchinson (8-10, 4.60 ERA) against RHP Scott Carroll (4-7, 4.81). Cheap Chargers Jerseys Cheap Rams Jersey Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Vikings Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jersey Cheap Saints Jerseys Cheap New York Giants Jerseys Cheap Jets Jerseys Cheap Raiders Jerseys Cheap Eagles Jerseys Cheap Steelers Jerseys Cheap 49ers Jerseys Cheap Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Titans Jerseys Cheap Redskins Jerseys
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