I’ve written all offseason about the knuckleheaded, entitled and invincible attitude of NFL players during their time off. It seems every day there is a new report about a player being arrested and what, if any, discipline the league will bring down upon them. In the case of cornerback Aaron Berry, it can’t be worse than what the Lions did to him.
Apparently fed up with Berry’s offseason antics, the Lions officially cut ties with the talented third-year player who was slated to start at cornerback for the team in 2012. It was his second arrest of the offseason and the Detroit brass felt they needed to get their point across at their roster, who has been in the headlines all summer.
Berry’s arrests were just a small sample of the many off-field incidents involving Lions players this offseason. Mikel Leshoure was arrested twice for possession of marijuana, Nick Fairley was arrested on separate DUI and marijuana possession charges, and Johnny Culbreath was arrested for possession of marijuana, too.
Not exactly a team full of role models. Berry’s two arrests brought the total of arrests for Lions players to seven this offseason. Seven, unfortunately for Berry, was the unlucky number.
Regardless of what happens next, Berry might has ruined his hopes of becoming an NFL starter and getting that contract to set himself for life. No doubt that some team will take a flier on him, but anything above the minimum at this point is being optimistic. Still, Berry is doing his damage control this morning.
“I’ve let my family, my teammates, my coaches and the entire Detroit Lions organization, including the fans down and I’m so sorry. I know it sounds crazy to some people, but I know I will continue to get better and grow from this unfortunate experience, I have no choice but to get better. There are always two sides to every story and the legal process will be where I will tell my side regarding this recent incident. I love the game of football and still feel I have a bright future ahead of me. I worked my butt off this offseason and I hope to be able to help some team in the NFL win games as I continue to grow as a father, friend, teammate and into the man I want to be. I want to thank Coach Schwartz, Coach Cunningham, Martin Mayhew and all the Lions staff, players and fan base for such a wonderful opportunity where I was able to showcase my football skills. Again, I’m so sorry for letting you all down.”
One thing this league has shown us is that fans can be forgiving and some team in the league will have space for a player who played 11 games in 2011 for Detroit, defending 11 passes and recording 31 tackles at a premium position.
Every young man makes mistakes at this age, but it’s the repeat offenders where you think they may be flushing their NFL futures down the toilet.
No team wants to cut a talented player, especially a team like Detroit who was already thin in the secondary. But there has to be a line and Berry apparently crossed it. CBS’s Mike Freeman reported on Monday that “One Lions player told me just now: ‘This s— has to stop. We’re becoming the laughing stock of not only the NFL but all of sports.”
With a franchise who just got out of that moniker, things like this need to be nipped in the bud.