March 1, 2011

Saints ink veteran DT Shaun Rogers as labor talks approach deadline

DT Shaun Rogers, an unrestricted agent who is eligible to sign because he was released during the current league year, has signed a one-year contract with the Saints worth up to a reported $4 million.

Rogers visited the Saints on his tour around NFL teams last week.  He reported via the social media site Twitter that "It's official WHO DAT NATION here I come..."  Rogers' username to that site is QBComa92.

With just days before the end of the league's labor agreement with its union, Rogers was free to sign with any team because he was released by the Browns on February 9.

According to a report from, Rogers took more than $2 million less to sign in New Orleans than he was receiving elsewhere.

On midnight, March 4, the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires and free agency does not begin as usual.

At 6'4, 350 pounds, Rogers has been a force against the run for 10 seasons and 140 games in the NFL, seven with the Lions before spending the last three with the Browns. Rogers went to high school in LaPorte, TX southeast of Houston and played at the University of Texas.

He said in radio interviews this past month that it would be a dream for him to play for his home town Texans, but south Louisiana would be a good compromise.

Rogers has had a rough go of it in the NFL, never playing for a team with a winning record. He was cut by Cleveland halfway through a six year, $42 million contract with $20 million guaranteed. But Rogers spent the past season as a rotation player, starting only one game. 

Rogers isn't without off-field issues. Not a good practice player, few big men are, Rogers was also arrested for carrying a loaded gun onto an airplane in April of last year, a third degree felony. He narrowly avoided a league suspension but was fined one game check by the NFL.

Despite his size, Rogers did not seem fit to play in the 3-4 Browns defense and enjoyed two of his three Pro Bowl years in the Lions' 4-3. After making the Pro Bowl in his first season as a Brown, he's declined since. The Saints are used to using their defensive tackles in rotation, having heavily used Anthony Hargrove and Jimmy Wilkerson behind starters Sedrick Ellis and Remi Ayodele. 

Ellis is under contract, but Hargrove and Wilkerson are set to be free agents. Ayodele was in theory retained with a restricted free agency tender.  The restricted free agency system may not exist when labor peace is reached between the league and its union.

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