Guest Blog by Hugo:
When I got a text from a friend telling me we traded for Shaun Rogers, I got happy. Like, shaking at my office desk happy. He's the 6'5" 340 lb guy we've all wanted. He would have something to prove after his work ethic and commitment to the game were questioned in Detroit. We would see less, or maybe none, of John Thornton, which we can all agree is a good thing. I have been a big supporter of Thornton up until this year, but his salary (~3.5 mil) could definitely be better used elsewhere. Anyway, Rogers must have been popular enough with the Lions to get Jon Kitna's seal of approval, because you KNOW Carson got the scoop on Rogers from Kitna. Needless to say, I thought it was a good move.
As pleased as I was with the Rogers deal, I was left shaking my head in disbelief that Antwan Odom and Marlon McCree were already lined up for visits, and that there is interest in Calvin Pace. Finally, the Bengal's stale philosophy of avoiding big time free agents (and their big time contracts) was being discarded in favor of "The Overhaul".
So, when news broke that the Rogers deal was off, I was naturally feeling pretty salty. I thought the Bengals got played like they did in the Warren Sapp sweepstakes in 2004. I was confused by it, concerned that maybe our "Bungles" residue hadn't completely washed off, deterring Rogers from committing. Maybe it was the off-field stuff that scared the Bengals off. Whatever, I didn't like it. But as everything has become known about the situation, it essentially boils down to the fact that we got outbid. Props to Cleveland for coming strong. Shaun Rogers was due a $1 million roster bonus on March 1, but the Bengals were already at the cap for last year. So they weren't able to pay the bonus. Detroit obviously didn't want to pay it either, which is why they were definitely trading him by 11:59 on the 29th. That technicality caused the league to reject the deal, and before anyone knew it, the Browns dangled Leigh Bodden, their best corner, and a 3rd rounder. I'm glad we didn't try to match it. I wanted him, but didn't want to sacrifice too much, which the Browns definitely did.
As talented as Rogers is, he's got 'big' issues keeping his weight down to 340. With our training staff, that's a concern if he gets hurt at all. Also, while Kitna did vouch for him, the Lions definitely wanted to move him, so he certainly has the potential to be disruptive chemistry-wise. That's not something we can absorb. I don't know, maybe I've been conditioned by the Bengals to rationalize a missed opportunity. Or maybe I'm just jaded. But I've moved on. By next week, I want to be welcoming in DeWayne Robertson and Antwan Odom, and welcoming back the 4-3.