The Lions have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to signing players with a history of domestic violence and dangerous weapons. We know this because general manager Bob Quinn said as much back in January.
"It's a big point of emphasis, so that's definitely going to be taken into account on every draft pick, every free agent signing that we take," Quinn told reporters at the time, according to the Detroit News. ... The two things that are zero tolerance are domestic violence and dangerous weapons. Those are two things I'm not going to stand for, I don't believe in. That's how I feel."
Here's the thing about zero-tolerance polices: They leave no room for interpretation.
Just last week, the league announced that Quarless will serve a two-game suspension to start the season stemming from a July 2015 incident where he was charged with firing a gun in the air outside a Miami Beach night club following an argument with a woman. He pleaded no contest, and was given one year probation.
When the Lions' zero-tolerance-accept-when-it-doesn't-fit-our-roster-needs policy was brought to the attention of coach Jim Caldwell, this was his response:
Jim Caldwell on the Lions' zero tolerance policy when it comes to gun offenses and domestic violence: "Every case is different."— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) August 15, 2016
Of course, "every case is different" isn't zero-tolerance, it's an every-case-is-different policy.
"I can only tell you this, and I don't know how many times I've said it before, but I think it's worth repeating, I certainly believe in second chances," Caldwell explained. "We do our due diligence and I think the young man is worth a second chance."
And people certainly deserve second chances. The issue arises when the general manager says one thing, and then months later, when there's a roster need, does the exact opposite. Quinn wasn't available to speak to the media but he did issue this statement:
"We are aware of the upcoming NFL suspension of Andrew Quarless," Quinn said. "We have thoroughly researched the incident that caused the suspension and have talked at length with Andrew about this. Andrew has been forthright and honest about the situation and he has gone through the process within the legal system. As an organization we are comfortable with adding Andrew to the roster and look forward to seeing him compete for the rest of the preseason."
Quarless, who declined to talk about the incident, did tell reporters on Monday that, "It's something I've moved forward from and I've taken the steps to move forward progressively and I'm just looking forward to being a part of this organization."