Thursday, March 19, 2009
Rogers-Mangini rift still unresolved
By James Walker
Apparently, the internal rift between Pro Bowl defensive tackle Shaun Rogers and new Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini remains unresolved.
According to a source, Rogers has been a no-show this week for the team's offseason workout program, which began Monday.
While the workouts are considered voluntary, Mangini has made it clear that he wants his players in attendance because it was his first chance to address the team in a group setting.
Mangini and Rogers have clashed for nearly two months when the coach initially refused to communicate with his star player, despite being in the same place on two separate occasions. Rogers didn't take the snubs lightly, as things escalated to the point where he asked to be released from his six-year, $42 million contract.
Rogers is guaranteed a $5 million bonus this month, making the player's release unlikely, and should earn an additional $950,000 in likely-to-be-reached incentives when he's on the field. Mangini has since attempted to reach out to Rogers, but his absence this week makes it clear that there is still much work to be done to patch up the relationship.
The eight-year veteran had one of his best seasons in 2008, registering 76 tackles and 4.5 sacks. The Browns finished 4-12 last season.
James Walker is the AFC North blogger for ESPN.com.