Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera spoke about the franchise's decision to release running back Derrius Guice, saying the team takes domestic violence allegations "very, very seriously."
"Anytime you have to release a very talented player it's always a tough decision," Rivera told reporters Monday. "We take those allegations very, very seriously and we had to make a decision. I talked to [Washington's] players yesterday that I made a decision I believe was in the best interest of our organization and if it was the right decision we'll benefit from it and if not it will be on me. I will take full responsibility going forward to make sure we do things the right way."
Guice was arrested Friday on one count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery and one count of destruction or property after three alleged domestic violence incidents earlier this year. The running back released a statement denying the charges through his attorney.
"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."
Wide receiver Cody Latimer was also arrested this offseason on charges of assault in the second degree, menacing, illegal discharge of a firearm, prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment after an altercation at a May poker game. Latimer is on the commissioner's exempt list and remains on Washington's roster.
"We'll look at each situation, each circumstance individually and we'll go through our process and make our assessments," Rivera said.
Guice, a 2018 second-round pick, entered the NFL with concerns about his character. Jon Keim of ESPN reported the Carolina Panthers took the LSU product off their board when Rivera was their head coach. Guice was coming into his third NFL season after being limited to five games in two seasons because of injuries.
No team claimed Guice on waivers.
Latimer signed with Washington in April after spending the last two seasons with the New York Giants.