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Lions trying to get 10M of bonus back from C Rogers


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Lions reportedly seek to recoup $10M of signing bonusESPN.com news services

IRVING, Texas -- The Detroit Lions filed a grievance against wide receiver Charles Rogers, who played his second game Sunday since returning from a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Charles Rogers

Wide Receiver

Detroit Lions



Rec Yds TD Avg Long YAC

6 81 0 13.5 31 14

League sources told the Detroit Free Press the Lions are trying to recoup more than $10 million because of his violation of the substance abuse policy.

Team spokesman Bill Keenist acknowledged the grievance after the Lions' 20-7 loss at Dallas, but refused to give more details.

"Due to the personal nature of contracts, we will not comment any further," Keenist said.

According to the paper's sources, the grievance seeks $10.184 million of the $14.4 million signing bonus Rogers received in 2003 when he signed a six-year deal with the Lions, who drafted him second overall.

Rogers told the Free Press to "read the fine print."

"It's going to be kind of hard to get 10," Rogers told the paper when asked about the $10.184 million sought in the grievance.

Coach Steve Mariucci refused to talk about the grievance, saying he doesn't comment on contracts, and spoke only about the play of Rogers, who had a season-high four catches for 41 yards.

"I thought he played well," Mariucci said. "I think he made a good statement today."

Rogers was suspended for four games by the NFL on Oct. 5, but missed five games. When he was eligible to return, the Lions didn't take him to Minnesota on Nov. 6, then he had just one catch for 4 yards against Arizona last week.

After pushing his season totals to 10 catches for 122 yards in five games, Rogers said Sunday he wasn't worried about the grievance.

"If it was on my mind, I wouldn't be able to perform," said Rogers, who again wasn't in the starting lineup. "I did what I was supposed to do on the field today. I want my spot back. We'll see what happens."

Asked how he could produce for a team that was trying to take back more than $10 million from him, Rogers told the Free Press: "Because this is football, man. This is the game you love, man. We was playing this game for free when we was born. It ain't all about the bread, you know?"

Rogers' first two receptions his rookie season were touchdowns, and he led Detroit with 22 catches for 243 yards and three scores after five games before breaking his right collarbone in practice and missing the rest of the season. He broke the same collarbone on the first offensive series in 2004 and missed the rest of that season.

Under terms of the NFL's substance abuse policy, a player is suspended for four games without pay because of a second positive test after he enters the program. If Rogers has another positive test, he will be suspended for at least one year.

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