Keep an open mind about this for a minute Cleveland. It was suggested earlier to a lot of criticism (myself included) about the idea of trading Shaun Rogers. At first thought, it seems absolutely ridiculous to not be building around this stud of a defensive beast, and that'd be correct as well.
Reality and scenario time though. Cleveland's defense is still developing, they're still learning, and are trying to find their identity. Let's face it, they aren't going to compete in the AFC North with the squad they have right now.
Impact players are needed to shape the defense, an obvious conclusion. Trading Shaun Rogers makes the defense lose a few steps, that's no secret, he's almost irreplaceable. This is where I suggest we take a hit though for the greater good of the team as a whole.
Rogers would command a first round pick to a team with a problem at nose tackle, any team would love to have one of the best in the game.
Imagine if Cleveland then controlled two first round picks, money aside. Cleveland will most likely be picking in the top five of the 2010 NFL draft this year. That put's them in prime position to grab one of the top safeties, difference-makers Taylor Mays of USC or Eric Berry of Tennessee.
I know you're thinking Mangini would never draft that high, but the reality is very few teams want to trade into the first few picks anymore and it's pretty likely they'll have to bite the bullet on the salary.
With the other first round pick, they could obtain ILB Brandon Spikes of Florida to bring aggression to the mediocre linebacker corp, lower in the round. Combining him with D'Qwell Jackson, Kamerion Wimbley, and a combination of David Veikune and Kaluka Maiava next season would bring about potentially one of the best lineups in the league at the position.
Spikes brings an attitude with him, known much like Ray Lewis, as one to come in and take over a defense with his leadership and mentality, something that's much needed in Cleveland.
Where does that leave the now gaping hole at Nose Tackle? Projected No. 37 in the second round sits NT Terrence Cody of Alabama. Cody is drawing comparisons already to Rogers with his 6'5, 365 pound frame, and his ability to stop the run and draw the double-team.
Obviously nobody can replace Shaun Rogers, and this would be a downgrade immediately, but the Browns are in a rebuild and Rogers is starting to take on age and injuries. Dealing Rogers could help Cleveland fill more needs than what he can currently contribute.
This deal would still leave nine draft picks in the 2010 draft, a rebuilding team's ideal situation. That would leave them with the picks: 3, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7 to finish building. Including a quarterback, running back, or receiver in the next three picks.
Projected to be available still would be WR Marty Gilyard (CIN), WR Golden Tate (ND), RB Charles Scott (LSU), QB Tony Pike (CIN), QB Todd Reesing (Kansas), and even rumors of QB Colt McCoy (TX) falling to the third round.
It's hard to think about the trade, but with the draft being as deep as it is this year, it would indeed be for the greater good of the team.
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