Lions May Owe Money To NFL For Player Arrests, Suspensions

With a total of six arrests of 4 of its players, the Detroit Lions may have exposed themselves to financial sanctions from the NFL.  This is a topic W&L covered a few weeks back.

From May 31st:

With so many mishaps in this offseason, Fairley and Leshoure are almost assured to be disciplined by the League. Have the Lions as an organization exposed themselves to possible repercussions as well? FOXSports’ Alex Marvez writes:

Under NFL rules, any club that has at least two players suspended for violations in the same season under three different policies (performance-enhancing drugs, substances of abuse and personal conduct) must remit a portion of their salary to the league.

If both are suspended for repeat violations under the substance-abuse policy, the Lions will be required to submit to the NFL 25 percent of their respective base salaries for each game missed up to $200,000. Neither player would be paid during the suspensions.

NFL.com’s Around the League Blog broke down the specific numbers.

According to the current collective bargaining agreement, if multiple Lions are suspended without pay, the team will send a portion of that docked pay to the league office. The funds are used to support the NFL’s steroid and drug policies, the Player Care Foundation, and other research and player development programs.

The amount collected by the NFL breaks down as follows:

  • First player suspended: No remittance
  • Second player suspended: Twenty-five percent of the player’s forfeited “paragraph 5” salary up to a maximum of $200,000
  • Third player suspended: Thirty-three percent of the player’s forfeited “paragraph 5” salary up to a maximum of $350,000
  • Fourth player suspended and above: Fifty percent of the player’s forfeited “paragraph 5” salary up to a maximum of $500,000

According to the CBA, if the player has had prior violations of law or is a repeat offender under the relevant policy, the remitted amount will be doubled with respect to that suspension, subject to the maximum amounts above. This point is especially relevant to the Lions because defensive tackle Nick Fairley and running back Mikel Leshoure each were arrested twice this offseason.

And I’ll conclude with what I originally wrote a few weeks back:

The League’s crackdown on player behavior brought with it a new focus on an organization’s role in helping deter their bad behavior. Obviously, the Lions can’t be blamed entirely for the poor decisions made by their players. However, it is safe to say that they need to take a more proactive role in counseling the players they employ.

Clearly, it is past time for the league to step in and reign in the behavior of the wayward Lions.  They have done nothing but embarrass themselves this offseason.

NFL-ATL: Detroit Lions to pay NFL if multiple players suspended | W&L: The Lions – The New Bad Boys of Detroit

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