Browns G.M. Tom Heckert recently stepped out of character and took a shot at recently-cut defensive lineman Shaun Rogers.
Heckert called Rogers a “different cat,” and Heckert explained that a career of losing with the Lions and Browns possibly has taken a toll on the veteran lineman, who has excelled both in the 4-3 and 3-4 fronts.
“I think if he went to a good team, things might change. I don’t know,” Heckert said.
Rogers’ agent, Kennard McGuire, has responded.
“I would defend my client as Mr. Heckert would defend the Browns,” McGuire said in a telephone interview with PFT. “I am disappointed that he felt the need to state certain thoughts about Shaun after he was released, and I’m not sure what the statement ‘different cat’ really means. I’m also not sure Mr. Heckert and Shaun ever really conversed, and I’m not sure about the trade or release, because we were told that the Browns did not want to trade Shaun when they had opportunities to do so. As far as not being able to release him, we all know that the Browns could have released him at any time.”
Heckert attributed the inability to trade or cut Rogers to a $6.9 million base salary, which essentially became guaranteed once the 2010 regular season began. But the Browns could have cut Rogers; the only catch is that they still would have had to pay him. And his salary apparently wasn’t an impediment to a trade, if McGuire’s contention that the Browns had opportunities to trade Rogers is accurate.
Either way, McGuire and Rogers have no hard feelings. “We do wish the Browns well as they work to get young and rebuild,” McGuire said.
As to the notion that Rogers is frustrated by playing for teams that have struggled, McGuire was candid. “When you’re a competitor, I truly understand how losing affects you,” McGuire said. “I don’t know many that want to become accustomed to losing.”
Rogers has 10 years in the league, and he’s never been to the postseason. We’ve got a feeling that he’ll land with a team that has been to the postseason a time or two in the past decade, and that will be favored to return in 2011.
Rogers is expected to sign a new contract before March 4, when a lockout likely will begin absent a new labor deal. He visited the Redskins on Friday, one day after being cut.