ARTICLE 42 CLUB DISCIPLINE Section 6. NFL Drug and Steroid Policies: No Club may impose any discipline against a player, including but not limited to terminating the player’s Player Contract, as a result of that Player’s violation of the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Sub-stances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or for failing any drug test, provided, however, that the fact that a player has violated the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or has failed a drug test will not preclude the termination of his Player Contract if such termination is otherwise expressly permissible under this Agreement or the player’s Player Contract.
OVERVIEW OF THE POLICY AND PROGRAM FOR SUBSTANCES OF ABUSE WHAT IS COVERED BY THE POLICY? --The illegal use of drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and alcohol.
You can read the complete version, if you wish, on page 17 in adobe . This effectively ties the Lions hands regarding Marijuana, DUI's, DWI's, pretty much everything, takes it all right out of their hands as an organization. So now the organization gets to take heat for things they can't control. Today they struck back, but they could be in trouble for this too. Take this into consideration -
ARTICLE 42 CLUB DISCIPLINE Section 1. Maximum Discipline: (xv) Conduct detrimental to Club—maximum fine of an amount equal to one week’s salary and/or suspension without pay for a period not to exceed four (4) weeks. This maximum applies without limitation to any deactivation of a player in response to player conduct (other than a deactivation in response to a player’s on-field playing ability), and any such deactivation, even with pay, shall be considered discipline subject to the limits set forth in this section. The Non-Injury Grievance Arbitrator’s decision in Terrell Owens (Nov. 23, 2005) is thus expressly overruled as to any Club decision to deactivate a player in response to the player’s conduct.
In essence, if I'm reading this correctly, Berry has a legitimate grievance for his release, as the maximum amout the Lions, as a NFL Club are allowed to impose, is a four week suspension without pay. We very well may not have heard the end of this yet.