As pointed out by JamesShivley in a FanPost, according to Fox Sports Ohio's Zac Jackson, the Cleveland Browns cut Shaun Rogers on Thursday. The release comes somewhat as a surprise to Dawgs By Nature because "it was believed that Rogers would play a role" in whatever defensive scheme that Pat Shurmur, the Browns new head coach, and Dick Jauron, the Browns new defensive coordinator, would implement.
According to Dawgs By Nature, Rogers had a $500,000 roster bonus and a $5.5 million base salary due to him in 2011. What does this have to do with the Bengals?
As many likely remember, the Bengals did attempt to trade for Rogers in February of 2008, even reportedly acquiring the defensive tackle for a third and fifth round draft pick. We were actually to the point of epic pump fists and flesh welting high fives. The Bengals never confirmed nor announced the trade, but that doesn't make a difference. The team rarely announces anything before the media has already found out their big news. So we had Shaun Rogers...
Then the NFL stepped in, axing the trade because of language issues in the trade agreement. According to various reports, the trade wasn't finalized by the 4 p.m. deadline in which the Lions would have been forced to pay Rogers a $1 million roster bonus. The Bengals had offered to pay $1 million to the Lions because the trade wasn't finalized on time, but the league said that there was no language in the CBA that allowed this maneuver and thus killed the trade. I know. The Bengals offered to pay the Lions for their own mistake.
That's not all. Rogers could have postponed the payment into the new league year, allowing the trade and forcing Cincinnati to pay the bonus. If the Bengals had finalized the deal before the deadline, Rogers would have come to Cincinnati. He declined to push off the bonus to the Bengals, delaying the move which ultimately prevented the trade. When the Browns came calling with a third round pick cornerback Leigh Bodden, he accepted and was traded to Cleveland.
For those of you wondering if the Bengals should take him up now that he's a free agent, consider this. He initially refused to push back his bonus that prevented a trade, so it's unlikely he'd want to join the Bengals now. Rogers hasn't played a full season since 2008 and he made only one start in 2010, dealing with a surplus of injuries. There's the lockerroom distraction and cancer arguments that will certainly will be applied because of perceptions, but we're not as certain with those to dig into.
On the other hand, Rogers is rated as one of the better defensive tackles in the league, strong against the run AND pass rush according to Pro Football Focus. Then again, according to the same grades, Geno Atkins beat Rogers out against the run and pass rush in 2010 and Pat Sims wasn't that far behind Rogers either. And if anything else, Rogers expected a salary of $5.5 million in 2011. Think he's really going to take any paycut when defensive tackles are always coveted in the NFL?
For kicks and giggles, if the Bengals successfully traded for Rogers, they would have given up their third and fifth round picks, who ended up being Pat Sims and Jason Shirley respectively. Both defensive tackles.