Remember how head coach Eric Mangini apparently disrespected NT Shaun Rogers by failing to say hello to him at a public charity function? That, among some other reasons, have led to Shaun Rogers asking the Browns to not pick up his $6 million option-bonus payment next month. Releasing Rogers would not only mean losing the best defensive player the Browns have, but arguably the best player in the entire organization. While the Browns have come out and said that Rogers has not asked to be released, Mangini is going to have to smooth things over with the big man.
This is obviously less about the fact that Rogers will still count more than $9.7 million against the cap if he leaves and more about his impact on a team that is looking for any potential for improvement next season. Losing Rogers will be a crushing blow to a weakening defensive line. Whether or not there are other reasons for Rogers wanting to be let loose by the Browns is anyone’s guess, but it doesn’t really matter. Mangini is really going to have to work some magic in order to keep him on the roster. Obviously, the Browns have no intentions of simply releasing Rogers without a fight.
I believe Mangini when he says he had no idea he was at the same function as Rogers. After all, I would really hope he wasn’t lying about something as ridiculous as this; otherwise, deeper mental issues would be at play here that would really make me question this hire, more so than the questions that come with any new coach. Smoothing over his relationship with Rogers is going to be Mangini’s first huge job as coach of the Browns. If he can somehow keep Rogers’ ego in check and keep him on the team, I think Browns fans will be able to breathe a slight sigh of relief heading into next season with Mangini at the helm.