The NFL off-season is always a nervous time for head coaches and general managers.
Not because of free agents and trades however, but because of the possibility of one of their players getting arrested. And that is exactly what has just happened for Jim Caldwell and Martin Mayhew of the Detroit Lions.
According to a report from ESPN, the Lions have taken the drastic measure of releasing offensive lineman Rodney Austin after he was arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to the police report, on April 17, Austin was arrested and charged with four crimes, including assault of a female and assault of a child under the age of 12. Four days later and the Lions have decided that they didn't want to keep Austin around the team and have let him go.
Austin was also charged with misdemeanour larceny and interfering with emergency communication. Austin, who was released on bonds totalling $4,250 for the four charges, is scheduled to appear in Mecklenberg County District Court on June 5.
No Nonsense Caldwell
Coach Jim Caldwell has said in the past he has a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence, and the former Colts head coach has wasted no time in showing that he means it.
This is the first known arrest during Caldwell's 15 months as coach in Detroit after his move from the Ravens where he served as QB coach & offensive coordinator.
The releasing of Austin leaves the Lions very weak on their offensive line, especially at the left guard position, where they don't have any players on the roster with NFL experience at left guard.
Larry Warford is the Lions starting right guard, Travis Swanson will probably play at center, and without Austin, the only remaining interior players are Taylor Boggs, Braxston Cave and Darren Keyton. None of them have played a single NFL snap with the Lions.
Austin had been with the Lions since 2012, when he was picked up as an undrafted free agent out of Elon University. In his three years with the team, he bounced between the practice squad and the 53-man roster.