Judge: Rogers owes Lions $6.1 million

April 6, 2010 at 8:24 PM

DETROIT, April 6 (UPI) -- Former Detroit Lions receiver Charles Rogers owes the team $6.1 million of a $9.1 million signing bonus because of substance abuse, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Julian Cook ruled Monday in Detroit in favor the team, which had sued Rogers for failing to comply with a 2008 arbitrator's ruling that Rogers must surrender the money, The Detroit Free Press reported.

The newspaper said Rogers was suspended for four weeks during the 2005 season for allegedly testing positive three times for an unspecified banned substance and was cut from the Lions the following year.

The Free Press said Lions attorney Thomas Bruetsch declined to comment on the decision while Rogers' lawyer, Michael Cafferty, did not return calls. Cafferty had maintained Rogers' contract didn't spell out how the unearned portion of the bonus should be calculated.

Rogers was slapped with a 93-day jail sentence in January after Novi, Mich., police found him passed out at a restaurant. He was charged with violating probation from a 2009 conviction in which he was found asleep while behind the wheel of a vehicle, the Free Press said.

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