In the first and what might be the only edition of "He said, He said" (we can only hope), Roar Report publisher Nate Caminata and insider Mike Fowler square off on the Charles Rogers trade speculation. The fourth-year receiver has been the subject of trade rumors following a 2005 season that, well, went 'up in smoke' followed by a less-than-impressive showing during head coach Rod Marinelli's voluntary workouts at Allen Park).
It's difficult to admit failure, but admission is the first step toward recovery. Lions' GM Matt Millen just has an incredibly lengthy recovery process in front of him.
After axing Steve Mariucci late last year, and with the Joey Harrington fiasco (finally) losing traction, there has been talk that another high profiled selection of Millen's -- wide receiver Charles Rogers -- is being shopped around the league. Good.
No one will doubt the former No. 2 overall pick's talent, but Rogers' exploits at MSU have never translated to his professional career. Partly due to injury and suspension, certainly, but a bad attitude and questionable work ethic dropped his value to the team beneath that of practice squad standouts Scottie Vines and Glenn Martinez. In addition, the team's attempt to recoup nearly $10 million from Rogers during the 2005 season didn't exactly ensure the exchange of Christmas cards.
However, Lions' head coach Rod Marinelli stated upon his arrival that each player had a clean slate. Reportedly, Rogers has already scribbled all over it, after reports that the coaching staff was less than pleased with the attitude and work ethic displayed by Rogers during the team's voluntary off-season conditioning program.
Like Harrington, the chances of Rogers ever blossoming in Detroit are slim to none. He has simply joined the ranks of Mateen Cleaves, Jake Plummer and a host of other athletes that tend to struggle when drafted by the pro team in their home state, often times turning to their roots and traveling in familiar circles that stunt their ability to make the transformation from amateur to pro. Rogers needs a fresh start, just not in Detroit.
Adding credence to the rumor itself is the four-year, $7 million contract (with a $2 million signing bonus) given to former Texan Corey Bradford. That isn't "No. 4 receiver" money, which is where Bradford would reside if Rogers remained on the roster.
Only Millen can manage to have more than one "era" within a single tenure, but dumping Rogers, on the heels of the exodus of Mariucci and Harrington is a good start. Individual talent hasn't garnered much in Detroit the past few years, but a move for the good of the team? It's worth a shot.
Trade Verdict: A resounding thumbs up, if appropriate compensation (mid-round pick and/or PB&J sandwich -- but not the combo jar) can be received.
I can understand shopping Charles Rogers, but hey, this is the same team that shopped another Rogers -- defensive tackle Shaun -- and the results were phenomenal. Rogers turned into a Pro Bowl player -- with the Lions.
I expect the same thing with Charles Rogers. Rogers is without question the most talented of all the Lions receiving core that features fellow first rounders Roy and Mike Williams. Rogers has the speed, hands and moves that separate the good receivers from the great.
The problem, however, is that potential hasn't been realized, partly due to Rogers, partly due to the Lions.
Having Joey Harrington throwing the ball isn't going to make a superstar out of anyone. Add to that the emergence of Roy Williams as Harrington's "go-to guy" coupled with the virtual smear campaign by the previous coaching staff of Rogers' work habits.
If Matt Millen is smart, he'll sit on Rogers for a season and see what he can do under Rod Marinelli's coaching staff, led by offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Here's betting that under the "may the best man win" philosophy of Marinelli, Rogers flourishes into the Pro Bowl player people envisioned when the team drafted him with the second overall pick a few years back.
Trade Verdict: Thumbs down.