Cardinals player to be sentenced for assault plea

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday for his guilty plea to a charge that he assaulted a former girlfriend who is the mother of his daughter.

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 child's mother. Authorities say Washington choked the woman and caused a fall that broke her right collarbone.

His possible punishments range from probation to 18 months in jail, though his plea agreement and prosecutors are calling for probation.

Investigators say the argument arose out of a visit that Washington paid to his daughter at the apartment where the child's mother lives. They say 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 with her mother, police say 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 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.

He was suspended the first four games of last season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He could be facing additional discipline for the assault under the league conduct policy.