This time, the Detroit Lions really didn’t have much of a choice.
The police reports kept piling up this offseason to where the NFL club simply had to make an example of someone.
You can only threaten for so long. At some point, you need to follow through with action.
Otherwise, the threats of discipline have no meaning.
The Lions took that type of harsh action on Monday with the announcement that cornerback Aaron Berry’s contract has been terminated due to “personal conduct which adversely affects the club.”
His departure comes after he was arrested over the weekend, for the second time in less than a month.
Berry was charged with three counts of simple assault after he allegedly pointed a loaded handgun at three men during an incident early Saturday morning in his hometown of Harrisburg, Pa.
Berry, 24, also was arrested June 23 in Harrisburg and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after hitting two parked vehicles with his BMW.
The Lions finally have had enough of their players embarrassing themselves — and the organization — in recent months. The latest incident was the club’s seventh arrest since January, more than any other NFL team during that time.
In Berry’s case, the weapon charge is what separates him from the others.
“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 in a statement released by the club.
This undoubtedly serves as a warning to every other player in that Lions locker room, especially recent offenders such as defensive tackle Nick Fairley (arrested twice, once for possession of marijuana and once for driving under the influence), running back Mikel Leshoure (arrested twice for marijuana possession) and offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath (arrested once for marijuana possession).
Berry had been projected as a starter at cornerback to replace Eric Wright, who left the Lions to sign a lucrative free-agent contract with Tampa Bay.
That spot likely will be taken over now by Alphonso Smith, Jacob Lacey or possibly third-round draft pick Bill Bentley.
Chris Houston, the Lions’ top returning cornerback, released a message Monday on Twitter concerning his former teammate’s fall.
“You can preach to someone over and over but if they don’t get it it’s nothing you can do,” Houston said of Berry. “They have to learn the hard way.”
Berry simply didn’t learn from his own mistake a month ago.
He said all the right things at the time in a statement released on his behalf, but Berry couldn’t live up to those words.
“I want to offer a sincere apology to the Lions organization, Lions fans, the coaches and all my teammates for my actions,” Berry said after his DUI arrest in June. “This is not the example I want to set for young people and it’s certainly not what my team and coaches expect from me.
“I promise to do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again. I understand these are just words and it will be my future actions that ultimately will speak for me.”