- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2020

Washington coach Ron Rivera said Monday that cutting Derrius Guice was a difficult but necessary move, adding it was best for the franchise.

Rivera addressed reporters for the first time since Washington released Guice Friday, which came hours after the 23-year-old was arrested on domestic violence-related charges. The team said it first learned of a situation involving Guice on Thursday, but when learning additional details a day later, it decided to move on.

“Anytime you have to release a talented young football player, it’s always a tough decision,” Rivera said. “But this type of circumstance, this type of situation, we take those allegations very, very seriously.”

Peter Greenspun, Guice’s attorney, accused Washington on Friday of not doing due diligence, saying his client “adamantly denies” the allegations. According to the Loudoun County Sheriff Office, Guice’s arrest stems from three earlier incidents that allegedly took place at the running back’s home in Ashburn, Virginia.

Rivera acknowledged there is a process that can take place — the team, for instance, kept wide receiver Cody Latimer after he was arrested in May and is letting the league investigate while the case makes its way through the legal system — but added “each circumstance is unique.”

“Each one will be handled differently to what we believe is best for the organization going forward,” Rivera said. “That’s probably the most important thing.”

Rivera said he talked to the players on Sunday about Guice’s release, repeating it was a necessary move. 

Guice’s arrest was the latest hurdle that Rivera has had to deal with since taking the job. Three weeks ago, 15 former female employees accused five former high-ranking team officials of sexual harassment in the workplace. The team is also in the process of changing its name, abandoning “Redskins” and going with the temporary “Washington Football Team.”

In that span, Rivera’s duties have expanded beyond that of a typical football coach, from chatting with owner Dan Snyder on possible new names to helping craft the team’s response to George Floyd’s death.

“It’s been part of what I have to do,” Rivera said. “As we look as the entire situation on circumstances of trying to re-establish who we are as a football team, there are going to be some decisions that have to be made that are tough and difficult. There’s somethings that we will continue to grow on and improve.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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