Lions seek to recoup $10M of signing bonus

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- If Charles Rogers has to give the
Detroit Lions millions of dollars from his signing bonus, he might
have months to come up with the money.

The Lions have filed a grievance against the third-year
receiver, and Booth News Service reported the team is seeking a
return of $10.1 million of his $14.4 million signing bonus.

"We're going to handle this professionally, not through the
media," Rogers' agent, Kevin Poston, told The Associated Press on
Monday. "We disagree with their position, but I'm not disappointed
in them because they have the prerogative to do this."

Poston said the next step is to have the grievance resolved by
the NFL and the players' association.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello indicated that won't happen any time soon.

"It has not been assigned to an arbitrator, and typically with
non-injury grievances, that could take several months," Aiello said.

Rogers owes the Lions $10.1 million as a prorated portion of his
bonus because when he was suspended for four games for violating
the NFL's substance abuse policy, he was in default, Booth
Newspapers reported, citing his contract.

Lions chief operating officer Tom Lewand declined comment Monday.

Rogers had a season-high four catches for 41 yards in Detroit's
20-7 loss Sunday at Dallas.

He was suspended for four games by the NFL on Oct. 5, and missed
a fifth game because of a poor week of practice.

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.

Rogers had one catch for 4 yards against Arizona on Nov. 13, his
first game back from suspension.

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," Rogers said.

Rogers was not available to the media Monday.

In 11 career games over three seasons, the second pick overall
in 2003 has 32 receptions for 365 yards and three touchdowns.

His first two receptions as a rookie in 2003 were TDs, and he
led the team with 22 catches for 243 yards and three scores after
five games before breaking his right collarbone and missing the
rest of the season. He broke the same collarbone on the first
offensive series last year and missed the rest of that season.