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Former Washington Commanders head trainer Ryan Vermillion agrees to deal on federal drug charges

Ryan Vermillion, Washington Commanders
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Former Washington Commanders head trainer Ryan Vermillion reached a deferral of prosecution agreement nearly a year after the team facility was raided over a DEA drug investigation.

Washington placed Vermillion on paid administrative leave on Oct. 9, days after Drug Enforcement Administration agents and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office searched his workspace and the Commanders’ headquarters.

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With team officials and players inside the building, agents used search warrants obtained for their investigation into the potential distribution of narcotics while Vermillion worked for the franchise. He previously worked as the Carolina Panthers’ head athletic trainer for 18 seasons, including nine years with coach Ron Rivera.

The Commanders also placed Vermillion’s top assistant Doug Quon on leave, per The Washington Post, but the recent for his absence was never given. Following the official announcement of Vermillion’s deferral, his former colleague and friend acknowledged Vermillion’s employment was terminated and the team was never a target in the federal investigation.

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“I was recently made aware that Ryan Vermillion has entered into an agreement, pursuant to which he has admitted to wrongdoing, but not be charged with any crime, so long as he satisfies certain conditions over the next 12 months. The situation is unfortunate and although it resulted in no criminal charges, it was necessary to move forward in a different direction. Ryan’s employment has been terminated. I want to emphasize that the U.S. Government confirmed from the outset that it viewed the organization as a witness, and not as a subject or target of the investigation. We cooperated fully with federal investigators, and we will continue to cooperate with any supplemental League and NFLPA inquiry.”

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera on former head trainer Ryan Vermillion, via The Washington Post

Vermillion’s days working for any professional team are certainly over. Washington replaced him in April with Al Bellamy.

What is a deferred prosecution agreement?

Deferred prosecution agreements, also known as DPAs, can be used in federal criminal investigations. It serves as a form of amnesty for the person being investigated as long as they meet specific conditions and cooperate with the federal government.

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In the case of Ryan Vermillion, he officially avoided charges after entering the plea before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. It’s expected he will receive a 12-month probationary period and meeting all of the federal government’s terms will allow him to avoid any further discipline or charges.

It’s expected that the U.S. Attorney’s office will provide a statement of facts detailing Vermillion’s activity that was uncovered during the investigation. Both the NFL and NFL Players Association will likely receive a copy of the report.