The start of NFL training camps is upon us this week, and if the league is happy to be back for any reason, it may be the end of the offseason arrest rampage that took place this past spring and summer.
In all, 31 arrests were made, with 21 of the 32 teams receiving a call that one of their players had been placed under arrest. Thirteen were associated with drunk driving, with another six marijuana related.
You only need a basic understanding of simple math to realize how bad this past offseason really was.
But underneath the rubble lies a handful of teams—potential playoff teams, in fact—that now have to deal with the aftermath. In the following slides, we'll break down how the offseason troublemakers have affected each potential playoff team.
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.
Kenny Britt was arrested for DUI in July while attempting to enter an Army base at Fort Campbell, marking the seventh—yes, seventh—time Britt has been in trouble with law enforcement since entering the NFL.
Four of the incidents came last offseason, and Britt only avoided a lengthy suspension because the NFL was locked out, and the commissioner wasn't able to consider those incidents.
But now, Britt could be looking at the hammer of Roger Goodell being slammed hard.
The Titans are a sleeper playoff team with Britt on board for 16 games, but losing their clear No. 1 receiver for a number of games puts a dent in Tennessee's chances.
Rookie Kendall Wright, who the Titans drafted with their first-round pick in April, must assume a much larger role with Britt likely to be out to start 2012.
According to the San Diego Times-Union's NFL arrest database—a great resource for looking at past and current infractions from around the league—Lynch had two other serious offenses on his record before this latest DUI bust.
The first was a hit-and-run incident in 2008, and his second—a felony gun charge stemming from police finding a loaded automatic firearm in his car—landed Lynch a four-game suspension from the NFL to start 2009.
The wide assumption has been that Lynch will again lose games as a repeat offender, but he's also been clean for almost three years. There's a chance the commissioner could give him some leeway because of that fact.
However, Lynch should probably expect a ban of at least two games. Four is probably the maximum penalty.
Seattle begins the year against the Arizona Cardinals, a division rival, before welcoming the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers to Qwest Field in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively.
A four-game ban would end after the Seahawks' Week 4 contest with the St. Louis Rams.
Losing Lynch for those four games could be the difference between, say, 3-1 and 0-4. Any early slip would have Seattle fighting for a wild-card spot late.
One of the more troubling incidents of the offseason comes from Dallas, where talented but "there's always something" receiver Dez Bryant was arrested for domestic violence after reportedly striking his mother in the face with a baseball cap.
While this incident does mark Bryant's first arrest since entering the NFL, it does not come without a string of run-ins with authority while in Dallas.
Now, Bryant is likely looking at a suspension—either from Roger Goodell or the Cowboys—but a ban nonetheless. One game looks likely, but anything up to four is in play.
The Cowboys' first four games are far from a cakewalk, with a season-opening contest against the Giants circled on the NFL calendar and then games against Seattle, Tampa Bay and Chicago to follow.
Those four could be tricky for Dallas to navigate, even with Bryant on board. In the hyper-competitive NFC East, any early slide could be trouble.
Elvis Dumervil, who led both the Broncos and NFL in sacks in 2009, was arrested at gunpoint on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Denver Post.
According to the NFL arrest database at the San Diego Union-Times, Dumervil was previously cited for assault after an incident with a parking assistant at Invesco Field in 2010. The Post's report also includes at least six traffic incidents tied to Dumervil since entering the NFL.
If formal charges are given to Dumervil, a suspension would almost certainly follow. How long is anyone's guess.
For the sake of this piece, let's assume Dumervil receives a formal charge, and Roger Goodell bans him four games.
Denver opens up the 2012 season with murderer's row. The season-opener against Pittsburgh is followed by a trip to Atlanta, and home games against Houston and Oakland will be tough tests.
While Dumervil missed the 2010 season, he does have 26.5 sacks since 2009, and his 9.5 were second on the team to rookie Von Miller in 2011. Missing such an impact pass-rusher would be a big blow to the Broncos' early chances.