Cardinals release reinstated linebacker Daryl Washington

FILE - In this May 20, 2014 file photo, Arizona Cardinals' Daryl Washington works on drills with teammates during an NFL football organized team activity in Tempe, Ariz. The NFL has suspended Washington for one year for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The punishment, announced Friday, May 30, 2014, was for substance abuse and did not mention his recent guilty plea to assaulting his ex-girlfriend.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals have released Daryl Washington, the linebacker who had been reinstated by the NFL after three seasons away from the game.

The team said in a statement that after meeting with Washington, ''we have collectively decided it was best to release Daryl and give him an opportunity to continue his career elsewhere.''

Washington was suspended by the league for multiple violations of the NFL's substance-abuse policy as well as a domestic violence incident.

The 30-year-old linebacker last played in a game in December 2013. He was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2012 and was selected for the Pro Bowl in 2013.

The decision to release Washington came after he met Monday with Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, general manager Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians.

Washington released a statement to Pro Football Talk saying the decision to part ways was mutual.

''I want to thank the Cardinals organization,'' Washington said, ''especially Mr. Bidwill and Steve Keim for drafting and believing in me and their continued support.''

He said he and the Cardinals officials had ''some really positive and productive discussions this week, and at the end of the day we mutually agreed it was best for both sides to get a fresh start.''

''I'm in the best shape of my life,'' Washington said, ''and very much look forward to the next opportunity, where I will again play at an All-Pro level and help my team make a championship run.''

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