Rivera: Releasing Guice was in Washington's 'best interest'
The Washington Football Team swiftly moved on from Derrius Guice on Friday after the running back was arrested on domestic violence charges.
During a video conference Monday, coach Ron Rivera explained the decision to cut Guice.
“I made a decision I believe was in the best interest of the organization, players and our fans going forward,” Rivera said. “A very difficult decision. Any time you have to release a very talented young football player, it’s always a tough decision. But this type of circumstance, this type of situation, we take those allegations very, very seriously. And we had to make a decision going forward. Sometimes it’s one of these things where there are processes. … Each circumstance is unique, each one will be handled and dealt with differently, to what we believe is best for the organization going forward.”
Rivera said he talked to players over the weekend and explained to them the circumstances and the choice to cut a talented young player.
“If it was the right decision, we will benefit from it,” he said. “If it’s not, it will be on me. I’ll take full responsibility as we go forward to try and make sure we do thing the right way.”
Rivera declined to get into the timeline or other factors involved in Guice’s release.
The running back faces charges of one count of felony strangulation, three counts of assault and battery and one count of destruction of property. The alleged incidents occurred earlier this year on Feb. 14, March 3 and April 17 at Guice’s residence in Ashburn, Virginia. Authorities were made aware of the allegations on July 22. Guice turned himself in on Friday, Loudoun County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office confirmed to NFL.com.
The decision to quickly cut Guice while other players on Washington’s roster, like Reuben Foster, have been given second chances sits in stark contrast with the linebacker coming off PUP over the weekend.
Rivera noted that he’s had many conversations with Foster about his off-field issues and the linebacker had a chance to get cleared of the latest issue. The coach believes Foster benefited greatly from a change of scenery.
“Who knows, that’s what might be needed in Derrius’ case,” Rivera said. “An opportunity to get a change of scenery.”
Likewise, Rivera noted that the situation with receiver Cody Latimer, who was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, was different, and the coach reiterated that “every situation is unique” and will be handled separately.
Rivera added that it wasn’t easy for the team to cut the second-round running back, but he’s confident in the RB room, led by Adrian Peterson, Peyton Barber, Bryce Love and rookie Antonio Gibson, among others.
“We feel very good about the group of guys that we have, we really do,” he said. “We think that this is a group of guys that are talented. Again, it was a really difficult decision, trust me, it really was. Derrius is a gifted young football player. And, again, it’s one of those things where we’re trying to get ready for a season, and one thing we can’t handle are situations, circumstances that are beyond our realm. He’s going to have to deal with something for a while, and his opportunities to get prepared and ready for the season would be limited.”
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