Thursday, February 26, 2009
From the Corner Office of Top Men...
A big topic on both the Really Big Show and the Reghi show yesterday was the talk of Shaun Rogers asking the Browns to release him before they pay him his 6 million dollar roster bonus next month. According to Adam Scheffter at NFL.com, there are a couple reasons for Rogers wanting to skip town. Both of them have to do with Eric Mangini not going out of his way to say hello to the big man.
Top Men aren't buying it. The real reason is MONEY. Rogers agreed to come to Cleveland when he found out that the Browns were willing to renegotiate his contract. Last March, the Browns agreed to pay Rogers $42 Million over 6 years, through 2013. In the first 3 years of the contract, Rogers is guaranteed $23 Million. At the time, a great deal. Would Eric Mangini not saying hello really make Big Daddy not want to cash in on another $15 million guaranteed? Probably not. So what are the real reasons?
One, rumors are that Pro-Bowler Albert Haynesworth, the free agent nose tackle from Tennessee, is close to signing a deal for up to $15 million a year. Yes, that's right. $15 million a year. More than double than what he and Rogers made this year. He would be the highest paid Defensive Lineman in the league. Rogers must see that kind of cash out there and want to capitalize on his Pro Bowl season.
And two, the NFL collective bargaining agreement ends at the end of the 2010 season. This brings some uncertainty to free agency and the dollars teams will be able to spend. The threat of Lockout by the Owners is making agents and players approaching their peak earning years very, very nervous. Players are looking to cash in now under the current agreement. Rogers may just be the first in line of players looking to opt out and sign a short term, high guaranteed dollar contract, vs. a long term, high total dollar contract. (notice the Nnamde Asomugha contract. Biggest contract in the NFL. HUGE dollars in the first two years, all guaranteed, with a club option for the third year. If the CBA changes the salary cap structure, the Raiders can opt out of the top contract in the league in year 3)
An interesting note: One of the proposed changes to the CBA is rumored to be a Team's ability to recoup money from players when they do not fulfill their contract. Meaning-when players like Rogers/Winslow try to get out of their current contracts, or hold out demanding a trade, Owners will get some of the money back they paid in signing bonuses.
We can't imagine the Browns new front office taking any action on this. They wont release him. Rogers was obviously the most talented player on the defensive side of the ball last year. And we don't think the Browns want to set the precedent of re-negotiating with disgruntled players. As we all know, Disgruntled Browns players are a dime a dozen these days.
*Top Men frequently take time out of their busy schedule to contribute to Shaver Sports.