One of the biggest questions facing the Redskins this offseason, is what to do with CB Carlos Rogers. On one hand he is probably their 2nd biggest free agent, after Santana Moss, and probably one of the 10 best players on the team last season. On the other hand, Rogers has frustrated fans and coaches alike with inconsistent play, and zero ball skills. As much as it pains me to admit it, I think resigning Rogers is the best move for the Redskins, but the only question is, at what price?
While it might seem shocking to most of us, but Rogers is going to command a pretty good price on the free agent market. He might not rival Jonathan Joseph or Nnamdi Asomugha in dollars or years, but he will get paid, and I wonder, is he worth it? And if he isn't who should the Redskins sign to replace him?
While it is hard to know exactly what Carlos Rogers is looking for, I think we can take an educated guess. Based on some recent contracts signed by corner backs, Rogers will likely be looking for over $10 million a season. Now before I'm told to put down the bottle, realize that it could very well happen. Take a look at three recent contracts signed by corners of similar caliber to Rogers, and an eight figure average is very possible for Rogers.
In 2009 the Redskins resigned Hall to a 6 year $55 million deal, with $22.5 million guaranteed. Washington was able to use the uncapped in in 2010, to pay Hall half of his salary in the first two years, meaning he is more of a bargain going forward.
In 2010, the Atlanta Falcons signed Robinson to a 6 year $57 million deal, with $25.5 million guaranteed. They were able $17 million in last year's uncapped season, leaving Robinson to make $40 million over the next 5 years.
Routt who would have been an unrestricted free agent, signed yesterday for 3 years $31.5 million, $20 million of which is guaranteed.
Now I know one can say, that all three corners are better than Rogers, or that the Redskins and Falcons offered those deals because they knew they could manipulate the system with an uncapped year. Also, one could look at Routt's deal and think what the crazy Raiders do doesn't impact the Redskins, but I don't believe any of those excuses.
To call De'Angelo Hall a better playmaker would be completely accurate, but to say he is a better corner back is probably a bit of a stretch. For all his interceptions and big time plays, Hall had a number of missed coverages and catches that should have been incompletions. Robinson used to be a playmaker, but a couple injury filled seasons and some experience leaves him more of a cover guy now. I would say he is better overall than Rogers, but it isn't a huge gap. Routt on the other hand wasn't even a starter until this year, and while he's done some good things, he is known to play sloppy with a number of penalties. You can convince me Robinson is superior to Rogers, but I'm not seeing the case to be made for Hall and Routt.
As for the contract terms, frankly it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that the Raiders overpaid, or that the Redskins and Falcons were smart in their accounting, those corners still got their money. That sets the bar for what Rogers should expect, and could push his salary into the $10 million range.
I like Rogers, but I don't know if paying him $10 million a year is a good use of the Skins money. Washington has way too many needs to tie up to much salary for Rogers. I realize people will talk about the value of having top corners, but even the best corners in the world are only as good as their pass rush and safety help. I would hold firm at a higher guaranteed amount, but a lower per year salary, somewhere in the $7-8.5 million range.
If Rogers walks, I'd turn to any one of the following options:
Former Atlanta 2nd round pick, turned his career around last season with the Lions. He isn't a star, but should come close to matching Roger's production.
The former Maryland product was traded at the start of the season to the Ravens for a 5th round pick and ended up being Baltimore's best corner back. He's a little on the shorter side, but has excellent speed and should be more of a playmaker than Rogers. Wilson could end up looking for similar money, but it is worth kicking the tires.
Marshall looked like a star in the making after 2009, but really dropped off in play this past season. Now some of that could be the lack of pass rush and talent around him, but it was still a disappointing year. He could be an interesting buy low candidate, and if you can get him at around $5-6 million a year it could be worth it.
(Note: There are other corner options I just mentioned three that intrigued me that are of similar talent (and younger) than Rogers)
Steve Shoup has been a Redskins fan his entire life and dreams of the day they get back to the glory days of his youth. In addition to his regular piece on Hogs Haven, you can find his daily writings at Fanspeak.com.