Former Commanders Trainer Ryan Vermillion Reaches Plea Agreement in DEA Investigation

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 19, 2022

ASHBURN, VA - JUNE 14: A general view of a Washington Commanders helmet on the field during the organized team activity at INOVA Sports Performance Center on June 14, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Former Washington Commanders athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion will avoid jail time in relation to an investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports, Vermillion will essentially serve a year of probation after a federal judge approved a plea deal Friday. Perez noted that while the exact allegations Perez faced weren't made public, sources said he illegally provided several Commanders players with opioids.

In October, the DEA raided the Commanders' headquarters and Vermillion's home.

The NFL confirmed that Vermillion provided opioids to players without a prescription and also announced that it had suspended him indefinitely. He won't be eligible to apply for reinstatement for at least one year:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

The NFL has suspended former Washington athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion indefinitely and launched a joint investigation with the NFLPA. <a href="https://t.co/5V8eEAySzh">pic.twitter.com/5V8eEAySzh</a>

It was also announced that the NFL and NFL Players Association will launch a joint investigation into the Commanders and whether they complied with the NFL's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. It was noted the team is complying with the probe.

Vermillion was the Carolina Panthers' head athletic trainer for 18 years, with the final nine years of his tenure coming under head coach Ron Rivera.

The Panthers fired Rivera in 2019, but when the Commanders hired him as their head coach in 2020, he brought Vermillion with him to Washington.

Per Perez, sources were surprised that Vermillion was allowed to agree to a deal that saw him avoid jail time considering the "facts of the case."

Perez also reported that if Vermillion abides by his probation, he can move to have the case expunged from his record at the end of the year.

While Vermillion has not officially been fired by the Commanders, the team placed him on leave in October following the raid.

Al Bellamy, who was the director of athletic training for Temple University for the past nine years, is now listed as Washington's head trainer.