Rogers was suspended for substance abuse in 2005 and released by the Lions the next year. The team says he must repay two-thirds of a $9.1 million bonus.
An NFL arbitrator agreed last year, but Rogers apparently has not paid.
The Lions filed suit Wednesday against Rogers and the NFL Players Association. The union did not immediately return a message Wednesday.
Rogers starred at Michigan State and was the second pick overall in the 2003 NFL draft. He recently served a jail sentence for violating probation in a domestic violence case.