The Cleveland Browns' decision to release former Pro Bowl defensive lineman Shaun Rogers and five others Wednesday saved the team nearly $17 million in salary and bonuses for 2011. However, money wasn't the only motivation behind Rogers' dispatch, according to Browns general manager Tom Heckert.
|Browns GM Tom Heckert says the release of defensive lineman Shaun Rogers (above) was motivated by more than just his bloated salary. (Chris O'Meara/Associated Press)|
Heckert told The Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi on Friday that despite Rogers' ability to wreak havoc on offensive lineman, the team grew weary of the 10-year veteran's attitude and poor practice habits.
Rogers, known as "Big Baby," was listed almost all season long with ankle and hip injuries, and he typically skipped practices all week, save for light workouts on Fridays. The Browns were forced to draw up defensive schemes using as few linemen as possible because they didn't have a full lineup in practice sessions, according to The Plain Dealer.
A Pro Bowl pick in 2008, Rogers played in 15 games in 2010 but only made one start and finished with just 17 tackles. His $6.9 million base salary in 2010 was the highest on the team, and Heckert said the Browns were unable to trade or release the mammoth defensive lineman because his salary was guaranteed after the opening week of the season.
The Browns likely will shift to the 4-3 defense under Dick Jauron, their new coordinator. Jauron coached Rogers during his stint with the Detroit Lions from 2004 to 2005, and Rogers played in a 4-3 with the Lions from 2001 to 2007, but the Browns were willing to part ways with the 350-pounder.
Rogers, now a free agent, has drawn interest from multiple teams, according to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.
Heckert cited Rogers' frustration with losing after spending his entire career in both Detroit and Cleveland. Rogers' career record is 45-115.
"Shaun's a different cat," Heckert told the newspaper. "Shaun's whole thing -- and he's stated a million times -- is that he's never been on a team that's any good. Every team he's ever been on has been bad. Right or wrong, I think it's taken a toll on him.
"I think if he went to a good team, things might change. I don't know."