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Detroit Lions to pay NFL if multiple players suspended

In light of the legal troubles of cornerback Aaron Berry -- who tallied the sixth arrest of the Detroit Lions' rocky offseason Monday -- let's look at how all of this could financially impact the team.

According to the current collective bargaining agreement (via NFL Network's Albert Breer), 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.

The good news for the Lions? All teams will be reset to zero for calculation purposes following the conclusion of each postseason. Next February is a long way off, however.

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