PHOENIX (AP) — A judge on Wednesday sentenced Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington to a year of supervised probation for assaulting a former girlfriend who is the mother of his daughter.
Now Washington, one of the team's top defensive players, will wait to see what punishment he may face from the NFL under its personal conduct policy.
He was suspended the first four games of last season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The 27-year-old pleaded guilty nearly a month ago in Maricopa County Superior Court to aggravated assault arising out of a May 1 argument with the woman.
Authorities said Washington choked the woman and caused a fall that broke her right collarbone.
Washington was sentenced by Judge M. Scott McCoy.
Possible punishments for Washington had ranged from probation to 18 months in jail, though his plea agreement with prosecutors called for probation.
Investigators said the argument arose out of a visit that Washington paid to his daughter at the apartment where the child's mother lives. They said the mother panicked after Washington left the apartment with the child to go to a restaurant and wouldn't answer her calls to his cellphone.
Once the child was back at the apartment, police said, Washington left with the mother's cellphone, prompting her to run after him and strike his vehicle with a hand-woven basket. Washington shoved the woman as she tried to run toward the driver's side door of his vehicle, causing her to hit the ground and break her right collarbone, police said.
Washington, a second-round draft pick out of TCU in 2010, has started 53 games over four seasons for Arizona. He had nine sacks last season and led the team in tackles in 2012 with 140, making the Pro Bowl that year.
Last month, the Cardinals picked up Washington's $10 million player option.