It took nearly three years to get settled, but the Detroit Lions ultimately won their grievance against former receiver Charles Rogers.
Lions chief operating officer Tom Lewand confirmed that than arbitrator ruled in the team's favor and Rogers must repay the Lions about $8.5 million.
Rogers was the second overall pick by Detroit in the 2003 draft and signed a six-year contract that included $14.2 million in bonus money.
When he was suspended by the NFL for substance abuse in 2005 -- his third strike under the league's policy -- the Lions argued that he triggered a clause that put him in default of his contract.
Three times running afoul of the substance abuse policy. My goodness. Whatever those drugs were (and they obviously weren't performance enhancers), they carried an $8.5 million price tag. I hope they got you really, really high, Charles Rogers.
Oh, and I didn't mention it until now, because I wanted Lions fans to be as happy for as long as possible ... but yeah, this probably isn't going to help you guys much.
For one thing, Charles Rogers probably doesn't have the $8.5 mil to give you back (when originally seeking $10.2 million, Rogers said, "It's going to be hard to get $10 million," and something tells me that $8.5 will present its own difficulties).
The Lions do get a salary cap bonus in 2009, but the bonus will only be equal to the amount that they can physically recover from Rogers. So next year, the Lions might have a salary cap that's equal to that of everyone else in the NFL ... plus seventy-nine cents.
- Charles Rogers