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Published: Tuesday, 7/24/2012

Lions release Berry after 2nd arrest this summer

New York Jets trade for Carolina's Otah

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- 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 Saturday morning on three charges of simple assault. Gautsch said there "was a weapon allegedly brandished during the incident."

In a statement Monday night, Berry apologized.

"Words cannot describe how embarrassed I am right now," he said. "I've let my family, my teammates, my coaches, and the entire Detroit Lions organization, including the fans down, and I'm so sorry. I know it sounds crazy to some people, but I know I will continue to get better and grow from this unfortunate experience. I have no choice but to get better. There are always two sides to every story, and the legal process will be where I will tell my side regarding this recent incident."

Audie Attar, Berry's agent, said the defensive back is heading to Chicago today to enter the NFL's substance abuse program.

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.

Meanwhile, defensive lineman Corey Williams is still dealing with a drunken-driving charge after a police officer pulled him over last year in southeast Arkansas.

He pleaded not guilty and his lawyer argued that Williams, who is black, was a victim of racial profiling. There hasn't been a decision made about the charge out of Monticello, Ark.

Jets boost offensive line

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets have acquired tackle Jeff Otah from the Carolina Panthers for an undisclosed conditional draft choice.

Otah spent four seasons with the Panthers after being a first-round draft choice (19th overall) in 2008. He started all 29 games that he played.

But last season, he played in only four games, then went on injured reserve on Oct. 19 with a left knee injury. He has missed 31 of his last 35 games.

The Jets need depth on their offensive line, and Otah could push right tackle Wayne Hunter for a starting job if Otah is healthy. Hunter struggled at times in 2011, his first year as a full-time regular.

New York also put four players on the physically unable to perform list: safety LaRon Landry, rookie linebacker Demario Davis, receiver Jordan White, and guard Terrence Campbell.



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