There have been multiple rumors circulating, hypothesizing about the Browns trading Shaun Rogers. Based on a play-by-play analysis of 12 of the Browns' 16 games last year, I can say there are almost no scenarios in which the Browns should even consider trading Rogers, for the following five reasons:
1) Planet Theory
I don't remember who exactly coined this phrase, but in essence, the theory goes like this: There are only so many guys on the planet that are over 330 lbs that are athletic enough to be effective in the NFL. Thus, if you have one, you should never let him go.
This theory basically applies to any of the top 15 nose tackles in the NFL, so, by itself, it would mean that if the Browns could get another one of those 14 guys, they should make a deal. However, Rogers is a top three NT in the league, based on the following factors.
2) His Pass Rushing Skills
Most people assume a 340 lb guy like Rogers is in there to stop the run. However,that’s not even he’s strong suit.
On numerous occasions last year I watched Rogers do what I thought was impossible: push a triple team (G-C-G) into the quarterback's face, forcing an early throw.
There are many players (Harrison, Mathis, Peppers etc.) that demand a double team, or a chip from the running back, but I’ve never seen them beat a triple team, let alone do it on multiple occasions.
3) He Can’t Be Moved
When teams were needing short yardage against the Browns last year, they ran away from Rogers. Obviously, some of that could point to the weakness at other positions; however, he still couldn’t be pushed back against double teams.
4) His Incredible Effort
Rogers gets beat up in the press and by fans for “not having a great motor." Based on the games that I watched, this isn’t an accurate statement. Rogers routinely chased (and caught) backs 15-20 yards down field. Watch any other team play last year, and tell me how many NTs or DTs chased RBs, or WRs down field on a regular basis like he did.
5) He Blocks FGs
I think he had two or three blocks last year. Most of the time, when field goal kicks are blocked, it’s done by a guy who’s 6’7’’ or taller, with basketball-player arms. Rogers is only 6’4’’, and his wingspan doesn’t remind anyone of a power forward in the NBA.
Rogers blocked these field goals by doing what he does best: running through multiple 300 lb linemen.
Quite simply, there’s possibly one other DT/NT in the league that can dominate a game like Rogers, and he signed a $100 million deal with the Redskins. When you have a guy this good, you simply can’t trade him, no matter the price, because he can’t be replaced.
If you’re looking for more analysis on Rogers, which supports how unique a player he is, I highly recommend this article by Football Outsiders.