Derrius Guice release shows ongoing culture change in Washington

The Washington Football Team cut Derrius Guice after his domestic violence arrest.

Running back Derrius Guice had superstar written all over him as he joined the Washington Football Team. There were the injury problems and people thought he was a little bit too immature at times. But Guice was a problem on the field.

The running back has all the talent in the world. He has the power to run through defenders and an absolutely devastating stiff arm. Meanwhile, Guice can juke out defenders and hit them with a mean spin move. Finally, he has the speed to get away from any defender chasing him after he embarrassed their teammates.

He seemed to connect with a good amount of the fanbase too. Again, there were some issues here but Guice appeared to have a kid-like behavior that a lot of fans loved — he seemed to be having fun.

Yes, the injury problem was real. He had played in just five games over his first two years. But you could argue that was just a freak injury that took him out his rookie season and a repeat of sorts in year two.

Besides, the numbers had to keep you interested. With just 42 carries in his NFL career, he managed 245 yards and two touchdowns (5.8 yards per carry). He even added seven receptions for 79 yards and another touchdown in the air. 2020 was set to be the breakout year for him. Then came Friday. Guice was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Shockingly soon after, the other shoe dropped. The Washington Football Team released Derrius Guice.

In years past, such a quick decision on his release would’ve been surprising from this organization. Many people would’ve expected Washington to let it slide or wait it out because he’s a young, talented player with tons of promise. They wouldn’t let such a great prospect go, right?

Washington’s culture is changing and Derrius Guice’s release is clear evidence.

Well, this is a new team under new management. When Ron Rivera was named the head coach, he made it very clear that culture mattered. He did not have time for the nonsense that came with distractions that regimes before him seem to let go idly by.

So yes, Guice is extremely talented and an incredible prospect. And who knows what his NFL future holds following this arrest, especially given the league’s questionable history with domestic violence arrests.

That team won’t be Washington though. Rivera doesn’t need that in his locker room. He has plenty of other players ready to prove themselves. At running back, Washington still has incredible talent too.

Antonio Gibson is the rookie that everyone loves. He’ll be a Swiss Army Knife in the offense and could torture defenses. A heavy load for him in year one seems unlikely though. Of course, Bryce Love is an exciting prospect himself. He missed all of his rookie season in 2019 with an injury but was a monster in college at Stanford. And, understandably, it seems like Washington loves him.

J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber are new additions from free agency this offseason. Barber has talent as a runner and McKissic is a great receiving back option. Finally, there is the immortal and un-aging Adrian Peterson. There is no reason to believe he can’t handle the workload as the full-time back; he’s done it for what seems like forever in the NFL now.

Derrius Guice is uber-talented. But his character should be facing serious questions from anyone and everyone at this point. What he is being charged with is inexcusable. And Washington doesn’t need that type of player or distraction in the building.

In the past, the Washington Football Team might have tried to let it slide under the radar. At the very least they might have waited a few days and weighed their options before releasing a player of Guice’s caliber. Not this new Ron Rivera unit, though. Not only were they working with the NFL to figure out what happened, but they also wasted zero time making an example out of him.

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Whether you loved or hated Derrius Guice, you have to love the decisiveness of Rivera. He saw a problem in his locker room and cut it loose. There really is a culture change in Washington happening right now. It’s taken decades to arrive, but it’s here now — and it came on a Riverboat.

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