With the declining health and play of Marcus Stroud, Stroud's playing mate, Pro Bowl tackle John Henderson, had a less than stellar 2007 season. With Stroud's return to his old form questionable at best, the Jaguars need to address a position which was their strongest on the roster just a few years ago.
Shaun Rogers is a supremely talented tackle, and should be right in his prime, as he will turn 29 years old in March. The former second-round pick has made his way to Hawaii twice as an NFC Pro Bowler, and has earned NFL All-Pro recognition once. Just a year ago, the 6'4", 340 lb. Rogers was thought of as one of the game's two or three best tackles, along with the Jaguars John Henderson.
So what happened to make the Lions sour on Rogers so quickly, and give up on a Pro Bowl talent in the middle of his prime? JagNation asked RoarReport.com publisher Nate Caminata about the whole Lions-Rogers saga, and here's what he had to say-
"The issue with Rogers has never been talent, or whether or not his career is winding to a close. It is simply work ethic and injuries, with attitude heavily related to both. If anything went wrong on the field in 2008 (even when they were winning), Rogers would take a 'breather,' pulling himself from the game. During one stretch of the 2008 season, he was no where to be found, whether or not he was on the field at the time. This wasn't the result of double teams, it was purely effort -- or lack thereof. "
"When Marinelli came in a couple of years ago, he immediately started cleaning house. Last year, the team made the biggest changes by dumping Dre Bly and James Hall, two 'cancers' to the team. Privately, the club knew that Rogers didn't exactly bleed honolulu blue either, but were hoping that he could be integrated into the new changes and help turn the franchise around. They were wrong."
So given that information, a change of scenery would likely do Rogers well. It's going to have to, because the Lions don't envision him in their plans any longer. The real question is would a change of scenery to north Florida do Rogers well?
Let's look at the facts. Rogers is a premiere defensive tackle when he wants to be, and the Jaguars appear to have a need at defensive tackle. Now would I advocate trading for a guy like Rogers? Possibly. If the trade compensation is late in the second day, and his contract must be renegotiated to put more emphasis on playing time incentives.
With any free agent signing or trade there is a certain amount of risk. If Rogers continues his slacker ways then he could be risky, if a team were to back up a Brinks truck in front of his house. Like anyone else, the Jaguars will place a value on his services, and if they can acquire those services for that approximate value, a deal will be struck. With Rogers currently being 28 years of age, there's a lot of upside to his acquisition, assuming it happens.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.
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