NFLPA, citing health and safety concerns, wants information on DEA raid of Washington Football Team trainer

ASHBURN, Va. -- The NFL Players Association has sent a request for information to the NFL regarding the recent raid involving the Washington Football Team's head athletic trainer, citing health and safety concerns.

Washington head trainer Ryan Vermillion was placed on administrative leave after the Drug Enforcement Administration searched both his home and his office at the team's training facility. He has not been charged with anything, and the team put out a statement on Monday saying the DEA's investigation was not team-related.

"We believe this situation directly impacts player health and safety," the NFLPA said in a statement. "The NFLPA insisted on language in our collective bargaining agreement that obligates clubs to adhere to all state and federal laws and regulations. We look forward to learning more so we can protect our players."

The NFL declined comment.

"We didn't know anything going on as a team," said safety Landon Collins, Washington's player representative. "Other than that, I can't speak on it because I don't know what has happened. I read it [the statement], I saw it, I'm cool with it."

The DEA talked to multiple former players about Vermillion earlier this year, a source with knowledge of the situation said. One ex-player who spoke with the DEA said he did not have any useful information to share with the agency.

Vermillion's attorney, Barry Coburn, declined comment.

Washington coach Ron Rivera worked for nine seasons with Vermillion in Carolina. He hired Vermillion shortly after he was named Washington's coach in January 2020. At the time, owner Dan Snyder called Vermillion "one of the most respected and seasoned head athletic trainers in the NFL."

Vermillion also is Washington's infectious control officer, managing the team's health and safety protocols for COVID-19.

"We back RV," said Collins, who tore his Achilles tendon last season, "... But we don't have much to say because we don't know what's going on."

Before his time in Carolina, Vermillion spent one season as Washington's director of rehabilitation. Before that, he spent nine seasons on Hall of Fame coach Don Shula's staff with the Miami Dolphins: four as head trainer and five as rehabilitation director.

Former longtime Washington trainer Bubba Tyer, who was with the team during its Super Bowl runs in the 1980s and early 1990s, will help out with the team's staff and was at Washington's practice Wednesday. Vermillion spent one year with Washington while Tyer was still in charge.