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Lions cut Berry after 2nd offseason arrest

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POSTED July 23, 2012 11:14 p.m.

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions have been trapped in an unpleasant cycle this offseason: A player is arrested, the team expresses disappointment and then the process repeats itself.

On Monday, the Lions took an additional step after Aaron Berry’s second arrest of the summer. They terminated the defensive back’s contract.

“We have repeatedly stressed to everyone in our organization that there will be appropriate consequences when an expected standard of behavior is not upheld,” Lions president Tom Lewand said.

The team said it cut Berry because of “personal conduct which adversely affects the club.”

Berry was arrested twice this offseason in Pennsylvania. Cpl. Kyle Gautsch of the Harrisburg Police Department said he was taken into custody early Saturday morning on three charges of simple assault. Gautsch said there “was a weapon allegedly brandished during the incident.”

Berry, who is from Harrisburg, was also arrested in that area June 23 on suspicion of DUI, failure to stop and render aid from an accident and other counts. He was set to enter a diversionary program in that case.

That’s not all the Lions have been dealing with this offseason. Running back Mikel Leshoure will miss the first two games this season without pay and will have to give up two more game checks for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Leshoure pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in May after police discovered him with pot in his mouth during a traffic stop in southwestern Michigan. That happened on March 12, less than a month after police in a different Berrien County community said they caught Leshoure with marijuana.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley was arrested in Alabama on charges of driving under the influence and attempting to elude police in May, his second arrest in his home state in two months. He was also arrested April 3 for allegedly possessing marijuana.

Offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath also had a marijuana-related run-in with law enforcement this offseason. Detroit drafted Fairley, Leshoure and Culbreath last year.

Berry has been in the NFL two seasons. He started three games last season for the Lions and one the previous season. Corky Goldstein, his lawyer, has asked people to withhold judgment on this latest situation.

But now, Berry is without a team.

The Lions made the playoffs last season for the first time in 12 years, and they return a dynamic young offense that includes quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Their biggest problem last season may have been their on-field discipline. The most memorable example was Ndamukong Suh’s stomp to the arm of Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith, which drew a two-game suspension. Even coach Jim Schwartz was involved in an altercation when he got in the face of San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh after a game.

The Lions did announce some positive news Monday, saying they’d signed offensive lineman Riley Reiff, their first-round draft pick from this year. Reiff didn’t have much to say about his new team’s offseason problems.

“I just worry about myself and trying to help the team any way I can,” Reiff said. “We’ve got some great veterans here and other great leaders. I try to take after them, their work ethic and the time they put in.”

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