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Cliff Avril: Detroit Lions not to blame for arrests


Cliff Avril is a veteran presence on a Detroit Lions team riddled with offseason arrests. He's asking people to take it easy with the simple assumption that the franchise has spun out of control.

"You can't label us by a few young guys getting in trouble," Avril told ESPN's "NFL 32" on Wednesday, via "You can't put that on the other 53 guys on the roster. That makes no sense. Obviously they are part of the team, but I don't think it's correct to put that on the other 53 guys who are on the roster."

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Third-year cornerback Aaron Berry was the fourth and latest Lions player arrested this offseason, when cops nabbed him for suspicion of DUI on Saturday. Johnny Culbreath also has been arrested this offseason, while Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley each have been arrested twice. Leshoure has been suspended two games by the league, and Fairley's punishment is likely in the mail.

Avril, the team's best edge rusher, is mired in a contract squabble with the Lions and hasn’t been a factor at offseason workouts. Still, he believes Detroit’s veterans must rally around the youngsters.

"Obviously, the guys who had two offenses, it's kind of hard to talk to those guys," Avril said, "but you've got to be supportive of the guys and try to get them on the right track."

Avril makes a fair point: The actions of a few (or, at least, four) shouldn't discolor the entire organization. The Lions are clearly agitated with the events of this offseason, but Avril has to understand his words fall on deaf ears. There's been too much madness out of Detroit, and too many hollow apologies. This very talented, young team has shown a dark side.