A little update of the Shaun Rodgers and Stallworth acquisitions for the Browns:
Cleveland Browns' Shaun Rogers the team's new middle man
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Plain Dealer Reporter
In Detroit, Shaun Rogers was seen as a player with multiple issues.
The Lions were disenchanted with his attitude, health, work ethic and weight. They didn't want to pay the $17.5 million due on the last three years of Rogers' contract.
But Rogers pledged on Tuesday to make the Browns look good for trading for him.
"Whatever happens in the past stays in the past," Rogers said. "I'm just excited to get a new look, develop a new reputation and just move on."
The Browns gave up their third-round pick and starting cornerback Leigh Bodden for Rogers on Friday. The trade became official when Rogers passed his Cleveland physical on Tuesday.
Weight has always been an issue with Rogers, he said, since he tipped the scales at 10 pounds, 1 ounce as a baby. The Lions tried assigning Rogers a prescribed weight and also tried removing that standard to encourage him to stay in shape voluntarily.
Listed as 6-4 and 340 pounds, Rogers sometimes played closer to 400 pounds, insiders said. He joked Tuesday he plays at "whatever is comfortable" to him.
"I've managed to play good football throughout my career and life," Rogers said. "I don't think it's going to be an issue here. We're all going to be in agreement. Whatever [the weight limit] turns out to be, I'm going to meet those standards and play good ball."
Rogers, who turns 29 on March 12, said he intended to participate in the Browns' off-season conditioning program at the onset on March 17.
"We're constantly working towards making sure everything is in place to lead off to a good start for myself," he said.
According to at least one report, Rogers was able to block a trade to the Cincinnati Bengals by declining to postpone the deadline for a $1 million roster bonus due him on March 1. The report said Rogers did agree to it for the Browns. He declined to comment on the report Tuesday.
On the field, Rogers has to learn the 3-4 scheme employed by coach Romeo Crennel.
"When you watch Shaun play, you see he's a dominant guy along the line of scrimmage," Crennel said. "We feel Shaun still has a lot of upside and will be a good fit in improving this defense. We were just upstairs watching some tape. Shaun has played predominantly inside and on the right side. I think we'll see Shaun playing both spots for us, because all our guys have some versatility where they play inside and at the end. We're gonna get the most out of him."
Rogers said: "I just want to be somewhere I can make plays and be effective defensively. I still think I can be effective on the outside as well as inside.
"This is going to be my first time in a 3-4. We've run variations, but that hasn't been our base defense. I've been over the nose, but not in our base. I'm looking forward to the challenges and maybe making a mark in the 3-4. I think with my size and some of my abilities I have, I can adapt well, but until I get out there and play it, I won't have a good answer for that."
The new Browns' defensive front will feature a combination of Rogers, newly acquired Corey Williams, and holdovers Robaire Smith and Shaun Smith. General Manager Phil Savage said the two other spots will be filled by Louis Leonard and 2007 draft picks Mel Purcell and/or Chase Pittman.
Stallworth feels at home:
The Browns are receiver Donte Stallworth's fourth team in four years, but he feels he's found a home at last.
"I'm excited. These guys won 10 games last year. They've got a lot of young talent. I'm excited to bring in what I have and be a part of it," Stallworth said in a conference call with Cleveland media on Tuesday.
Stallworth signed a six-year contract with the Patriots last year, but knew the structure of it meant he would stay only one year with New England. They made him a free agent by declining to pay a scheduled $6 million bonus last week.
Stallworth's deal with the Browns has been reported as seven years for $35 million, with $10 million in guarantees.
"I liked what I saw when I was there [to visit]," Stallworth said. "They're a hungry organization. Lot of good talent that's going to be here a long time."
Savage said after the 2007 season, Joe Jurevicius requested the team find a No. 2 receiver so he could be moved to No. 3. That was the reason the Browns pursued Stallworth aggressively.
Tim Carter, who was acquired last year in the trade for Reuben Droughns, will not be back, Savage said.
The Browns announced late Tuesday that safety Nick Sorensen has come to terms on a three-year contract.
Sorensen was signed in October last year and performed well on special teams. He finished fifth with 14 special-teams tackles.
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