BY RICKY LINDSAY, Staff Writer
Many NFL players have caught the public eye this offseason, none of them being proud reasons to write home about.
Since the Super Bowl in early February, thirty players have been doing the kind of running that their organizations dread seeing:
Running into the law.
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The number only seems to be increasing every day at an alarming rate, with ten of those arrests coming in July alone. A majority of these arrests resulted from DUI’s, battery, or marijuana possession.
The numbers also include NFL star power, such as running backs Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch, wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Dez Bryant, and defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
The Detroit Lions lead the NFL in one category they’d prefer not to; the most player arrests made this offseason. These include second year players Johnny Culbreath, Nick Fairley, and Mikel Leshoure, as well as Aaron Berry.
You may be wondering, how do four players account for six arrests? Here’s your answer: Fairley and Leshoure were repeat offenders, arrested twice this offseason. The disappointing news is both of their arrests were one month apart.
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Fairley and Leshoure are expected to be suspended at the start of the 2012 season, either by the NFL or by a team mandated suspension.
Fans are going to be upset with players if suspensions are handed down, as Fairley missed six games in 2011 with an injured foot, while Leshoure missed the entire 2011 season with a torn Achilles tendon.
What seemed to be a promising upcoming season for the Lions might become a nightmare.
The Lions looked to push themselves to the elite status after a 10-6 record and a wildcard spot for the 2011 season. Instead, they will be answering questions about the offseason distractions brought upon by four players.
They desperately needed Leshoure last season, and will again suffer without him if suspended. The injury prone Jahvid Best can’t be expected to carry the Lions’ running back core.
Fairley’s reputation will definitely take a hit, after signing his enormous rookie contract with little field production so far. The Lions needed him to play most of this year, especially if Cliff Avril’s franchise tag causes him to hold out the 2012 season.
One way to sum up the recent string of arrests by NFL players is simple: When you’re a professional, you need to act like one at all times, both on and off the field.
These players are making millions of dollars to play a game, a taxi cab doesn’t cost that much to get you home safely with no repercussions when you are intoxicated.