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No NFL team was hit harder this offseason than the Detroit Lions, who had an NFL-high six total arrests—coming from just three players—since the end of the 2011-12 season.
2011 second-round pick Mikel Leshoure was cited twice for possession of marijuana within the span of a month, and the NFL suspended the Lions running back for two games to start 2012, according to USA Today.
Nick Fairley, the Lions' first-rounder in 2011, was cited for second-degree marijuana possession in April and then arrested in July for driving under the influence. According to the Detroit Free-Press, Fairley is still in the process of fighting each charge, even though he's almost certain to miss at least two games to start next season.
Cornerback Aaron Berry rounds out the Lions list, having been arrested for DUI in late June, before a recent altercation involving Berry pointing weapons at at least three people landed him back in handcuffs and out of work.
The Lions released Berry Monday afternoon, according to the Associated Press (per ESPN).
What does it all mean for the Lions?
For one, the team will almost certainly be missing two of its most promising young players—Leshoure and Fairley—for opening games at home vs. St. Louis and on the road in San Francisco. The Week 2 showdown against the 49ers looms large.
But it also means Berry, one of Detroit's cornerbacks likely to be starting at the open of camp, is no longer around. The Lions secondary has been a point of contention as the team has risen from the depths of the NFL, and Berry's release doesn't help.
I'm not willing to say that the troubles of Leshoure, Fairley and Berry are enough to knock a talented, up-and-coming team like the Lions out of the playoff picture. But teams have collapsed under their own weight for a lot less in the past.
Let's see how the Lions hold up after a tumultuous offseason.