Back on March 6th, Pride of Detroit reported that the Lions had lost two offseason days due to a grievance filed by a player or players because of too much contact during an offseason practice. This past week we finally started to get some details of the matter. The biggest question mark was which player(s) filed the complaint that not only left Detroit with two less days of training, but also with embarrassment. "What kind of team complains about working too hard?" That's what the rest of the league was probably thinking.
First off this week was the rumor that James Hall, Shaun Rogers, and Marcus Bell were all involved in complaining about the workouts. Soon after that claim, James Hall was confirmed to just be the messenger in the matter as he's the NFLPA representative for the Lions. He has to be the one to notify the NFLPA of the complaint, but he was not the actual one complaining.
That leaves Shaun Rogers and Marcus Bell. Some more confirmation is coming out as a rumor from ProFootballTalk.com that Rogers isn't involved and that Marcus Bell is the only one that filed the grievance.
Also, reports that defensive end James Hall and defensive tackle Shaun Rogers joined in the complaint aren't accurate. Hall signed off on the complaint in his capacity as the Lions' union representative. Rogers simply had nothing to do with the complaint.
The identity of the whistleblower is becoming more and more important because there are multiple Lions players who aren't happy about the fact that a complaint was made. At least three members of the team privately have made strong comments regarding the filing of the complaint, and Bell should be far more worried about retaliation from his teammates than from the coaching staff.
We're not suggesting that Bell will be the victim of violence. Instead, we suspect that he'll be ostracized by the the other guys on the roster, and that he'll eventually be begging to be cut.
Our guess is that the front office eventually will oblige.
As the quote alluded to, Bell will probably not get much respect from his fellow teammates after this is all said and done. I sure wouldn't be giving out any respect to someone actually going the length to file a complaint against a new head coach. If you have an issue with how much contact there was in the practices, then just go to the coaching staff and tell them that. Maybe they'll listen to you and get the problem cleared up. But to put it out there in the public eye and embarrass the rest of the team and organization is just unacceptable.