Detroit players were arrested five times in the first five months of the offseason, and that fact has drawn the attention of the league office.
Lions President Tom Lewand said today that he has spoken with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the team’s arrests.
“We’ve been active in our participation with the league,” Lewand told the Detroit Free Press. “We’ve handled matters internally, we’ve made our thoughts known publicly about our expectations and the need for accountability and responsibility and, beyond that, I don’t think it makes a lot of sense for us to comment on the details.”
All five arrests came from players the Lions drafted last year: Two arrests each for running back Mikel Leshoure and defensive tackle Nick Fairley and one for offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath. Lewand wouldn’t get into the specifics of what the league office might do about that.
“I think, clearly, anybody who makes mistakes needs to take ownership of their actions and it, obviously, is disappointing for us,” Lewand said. “We have a high standard of accountability. That starts with me, that starts with ownership, when we make mistakes — and I’ve made mine — you take ownership of those responsibilities.”
Lewand himself was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and pleaded guilty to operating while visibly impaired in 2010. He says, however, that the Lions are a classy organization.
“But we also can’t lose sight of the fact that we have a great group of guys, a great nucleus of veteran guys on our team that really are tremendous on the field and off the field,” Lewand said.
It’s easy to lose sight of those great guys, however, when so many not-so-great guys are making news.