Washington releases RB Guice shortly after arrest

by 24USATVAug. 8, 2020, 4:40 a.m. 88
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Ron Rivera has long built his running back room around diversity in playing styles and likes his options even after releasing Derrius Guice in Washington. (0:57)

The Washington Football Team released running back Derrius Guice on Friday night, less than two hours after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Washington wasted little time in releasing Guice, saying in a statement that it had learned of a domestic violence-related incident Thursday. The team alerted the NFL and met Friday with Guice to let him know he was excused from all team activities.

The team's statement then read: "This afternoon we learned that there were multiple charges filed against Derrius. Upon review of the nature of these charges and following internal discussions, we have decided to release Derrius immediately."

According to the Loudoun County Sheriff's office, the charges stemmed from three separate domestic violence-related incidents earlier this year -- on Feb. 14, March 13 and April 17 -- at Guice's home in Ashburn, Virginia. The incidents were first reported to the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland. The sheriff's office was made aware of the allegations on July 22. It investigated the incidents in coordination with the Montgomery County Police Department.

Guice, 23, was charged with one count of strangulation and three counts of assault and battery. He also was charged with one count of destruction of property. Guice turned himself in to the Loudoun Adult Detention Center late Friday afternoon. Guice later was released on a $10,000 uninsured bond.

In a statement made by his attorney, Guice refused to comment and denied the charges.

"The failure to fully investigate allegations of events, which allegedly took place months ago, is inexplicable," the statement read. "Derrius will defend these charges in court, where a full vetting of the allegations will take place, in contrast to actions by local law enforcement and the Washington Football Team that assumed the worst, directly contradicting every sense of fairness and due process."

Before the 2018 NFL draft, there were anonymous reports questioning Guice's character. Many who knew him, from high school to college coaches, said those fears were misplaced. Although some teams took him off the board, whether for injury or character concerns, Washington drafted the LSU product in the second round.

During his two seasons with Washington, questions arose about his maturity level, according to numerous sources over this time. Most of those concerns, though, stemmed from his approach to various team situations such as medical treatment.

As a rookie, Guice was one of the camp standouts until he tore his left ACL in the first preseason game. Coaches valued his ability to help on all three downs because he could not only catch the ball but help in pass protection.

Guice opened the 2019 season as the starting running back, but he tore the meniscus in his right knee and missed eight games. He then tore his medial collateral ligament in a Dec. 8 loss at Green Bay and did not play again. He never touched the ball more than 10 times in a game, but he did average 5.83 yards on 42 carries.

This offseason, Washington made sure to add depth at running back. The team still has Adrian Peterson, but it also signed third-down back J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber, an early-down back. Washington drafted Antonio Gibson, who will also align at wide receiver in certain formations. Bryce Love, whom the team drafted in the fourth round in 2019, was cleared to practice this summer and, if he's back to where he was at Stanford, would provide the same sort of pop the team had hoped to get from Guice.

Washington's NFL franchise came under fire last month when The Washington Post detailed sexual harassment allegations against five former employees. New coach Ron Rivera was tasked with improving the culture in Washington, making Guice's release a necessary move.

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