The Washington Football Team released running back Derrius Guice on Friday after the 23-year-old was arrested on domestic violence-related charges.
Guice faces three counts of battery and assault, one count of destruction of property, and one count of strangulation, the latter of which is a felony.
Guice turned himself over to authorities Friday afternoon and was released on $10,000 bond. The Washington Post reported the running back hired prominent criminal attorney Peter D. Greenspun to represent him.
In a statement, Washington said it learned of a “potential domestic violence-related incident” involving Guice on Thursday, notified the NFL league office about the situation and excused him from team activities for Friday. It then cut him later Friday evening, releasing him with two years left on his contract.
“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,” the team said.
According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Guice’s arrest stemmed from three reported incidents earlier in the year — Feb. 14, March 13 and April 17 — at the running back’s home in Ashburn. The incidents were first reported to the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland where the victim lives, and the Loudoun County Sheriff Office’s became aware of the allegations on July 22, the office said.
By releasing Guice, coach Ron Rivera sends a strong message as he looks to rebuild the team’s culture. Since taking over in January, Rivera has dealt with various issues surrounding the franchise such as the changing of the team’s name, the team’s response to George Floyd’s death and sexual harassment allegations made against five former high-ranking team officials from 15 former female employees.
A second-round pick in 2018 out of LSU, Guice was expected to compete for the team’s starting running back spot. Last week, Guice revealed he was cleared for football activity ahead of training camp, months after he suffered a strained MCL that ended his 2019 season.
Throughout his time with Washington, Guice dealt with a series of knee injuries that prevented him from seeing the field. He missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL. In 2019, he tore his meniscus in Week 1, missed eight games, and then suffered another knee injury later in the season.
Two years ago, Guice fell to Washington in the second round after other teams reportedly had character concerns that hurt his draft stock. After being drafted, Guice repeatedly pushed back against those claims and said he was motivated by them. “I’m going to run angrier than ever, he said.
Guice’s draft fall followed a standout college career in which he was LSU’s leading rusher in 2016 and 2017.
Guice isn’t the only player Washington has moved on from this offseason due to off the field incidents. In March, Washington released safety Montae Nicholson following a string of controversies, the most recent being a November 2019 incident in which a girl was found unresponsive in Nicholson’s home and later was pronounced dead due to a drug overdose.
Nicholson was not charged, but faced criticism from the girl’s family for not taking action sooner. Washington also drew backlash for allowing Nicholson to play the team’s next game against the New York Jets.
Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.