The decision of prosecutors in Albany, New York to drop felony charges against Eagles running back Dion Lewis underscores the difference between an arrest and a conviction.
That nuance apparently was lost on the Lions, who from a P.R. standpoint had no real option other than to cut cornerback Aaron Berry after his Friday night arrest for allegedly pointing a gun at three men in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. But what if prosecutors decide not to rely on three men who may or may not have been drinking and/or who may or may not have embellished the claims? At this point, it could very well be their word against Berry’s.
Then again, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press said during Monday’s PFT Live, Berry met with the team before the team released him. It’s possible that Berry admitted to pointing the gun or otherwise said something to suggest he doesn’t get it, making it easier for the Lions to feel good about the only right decision, given the rash of arrests.
Monday’s chat with Birkett touched on other circumstances regarding the arrest, including the fact that Berry allegedly pointed the gun within 24 hours or so after: (1) he agreed to enter a diversion program aimed at resolving his DUI arrest from last month; and (2) a madman shot up a theater in Colorado.
Yes, the Lions had no choice. But it will be a shame if, in the end, it turns out that Berry didn’t do what he is accused of doing.
In the interim, it’ll be interesting to see whether any other team submits a waivers claim for Berry, essentially squatting on him while conducting their own investigation as to whether he is guilty as charged. It wouldn’t be a popular move, but teams without a recent history of players behaving badly could get away with taking a chance on a guy who may have finally gotten the wake-up call he so desperately needs.