The Washington Football Team released running back Derrius Guice Friday night, less than two hours after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Loudoun County.
Washington wasted little time in releasing Guice, saying in a statement that it had learned of a domestic violence charge Thursday. The team alerted the league and met with Guice to let him know he was excused from all team activities Friday.
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.”
Guice was charged with one count of strangulation as well as three counts of assault and battery. He also was charged with one count of destruction of property. Guice turned himself in late Friday afternoon; he was handcuffed before entering the Loudoun Adult Detention Center.
Before the 2018 NFL Draft, there were anonymous reports questioning Guice’s character. Many in his background, from high school to college coaches, said those fears were misplaced. While some teams took him off the board, whether for injury or character concerns, Washington drafted him in the second round.
During his two seasons here, there concerns or questions about his maturity level, according to numerous sources over this time. Most of that immaturity, though, stemmed from his approach to various team situations such as medical treatment.
Guice became a fan favorite for his personality off the field and his potential on it. Coaches loved his ability to help on all three downs because he could not only catch the ball but help in protection. As a rookie, he was one of the camp standouts until he tore his left ACL in the first preseason game.
Last season, Guice opened the 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 season, Washington had made sure to add depth to running back. It still has Adrian Peterson, but it signed third-down back J.D. McKissic as well as Peyton Barber, who is more like Peterson as an early-down back. Washington also drafted Antonio Gibson, who will also align at receiver in certain formations. Bryce Love, whom the team drafted in the fourth round in 2019, also was cleared to practice this summer and, if he’s back to where he was at Stanford, would provide the same sort of pop they had hoped to get from Guice.
Washington’s franchise had come 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. Guice will be represented by attorney Peter Greenspun, who once represented broadcaster Marv Albert.