These are words I never thought I’d be saying at this point in the season, but the Redskins should look to make a trade to acquire a player at the trade deadline. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m adamently against trading picks for 1 year fixes (like the Redskins always seem to do), so I have been dead set against them giving up draft picks for players (esp. since they have already traded away their 3rd and 4th rounders). But I am changing my tune this week as I read that Shaun Rogers might be on the trade block in Cleveland. While I still question the Redskins being serious contenders there is little doubt that Rogers could help this team be better, and also he isn’t a 1-year fix as he is under contract for another 3 years.
As to what it would cost I really don’t know, since Rogers is still considered an elite NT, but has had the Albert Haynesworth treatment this year in Cleveland. Rogers, who is just 31, is probably a little weaker tackle than Haynesworth, but evens up the equation since he is a natual nose tackle. Given our lack of picks next year (and number of needs), the Redskins can ill afford to trade another draft pick. But it is possible the Redskins could work out a player for player deal, or add in a future draft pick. Rogers talent level would dictate premium picks, but it seems as though the rebuilding Browns want to cut ties, and start a new. Cleveland desperately needs wide receiver (after losing two to injuries in yesterday’s game) and corner back help. Washington unfortunately just cut a young receiver with upside, meaning they have no one there they can move. As for corner backs, Carlos Rogers would be enough to acquire Shaun Rogers (and then some, with the value the Browns are putting on him), but he will be an unrestricted free agent next season, giving Cleveland little reason to be interested. Also hurting Washington is one of their most marketable players, Fred Davis (not a huge need for Cleveland, but great overall upside) won’t be moved with Chris Cooley getting injured last night. The Redskins in general don’t have many players under team control past next season, and those that they do don’t really fill the Browns needs, or are too important in Washington, Moss, Orakpo, Landry etc. The following is a trade scenario that could maybe work (though much will depend on what other teams have to offer)
Trade scenario number:
Redskins Trade Derrick Dockery and a 5th round pick to the Cleveland Browns For Shaun Rogers and a 6th round pick (the one from the Broncos)
Why It works for Washington: The Redskins desperately need help in the interior of their line, and Rogers is still one of the best in the business. Washington saw Sunday night that their current NT Maake Kemoeatu can’t handle the starting role. Kemoeatu, isn’t athletic enough or quick enough to play on passing downs, and really wasn’t even in the game after the first quarter. Even when he was there Kemoeatu wasn’t commanding the double teams or getting the penetration, Washington needs to run the 3-4. Rogers despite being even bigger than Kemoeatu, is a natural NT (unlike Haynesworth) and is quick enough to play on passing downs. While like any big tackle around the league he needs his share of plays off, he makes enough impact on his snaps to wreck havoc on opposing game plans. There is no way the Colts rack up 170 rushing yards if Rogers was playing NT. And Manning would have felt more pressure up the middle (or forced them to take blockers away from Orakpo and company) if Rogers was in there. Now maybe the outcome of the game wouldn’t have been different, but it would have given the Redskins a better chance. The presence of Rogers would also allow Washington to place Haynesworth at the end spot, in the 3-4, allowing him the freedom to rush the passer more. Haynesworth playing the end, next to Rogers would be devastating to opposing offense lines. Teams have enough trouble blocking one of them, and blocking both of them is near impossible. And if you do find a way to block both of them you have to account for Brian Orakpo and any other blitzers. The only alternative for opposing offenses is to either run away from them (basically halving the field that they have to play with) or adding additional blockers (which limits their offensive capabilities). Regardless the impact of a Haynesworth-Rogers duo would be vast.
While giving up Dockery hurts the Redskins going forward, he doesn’t fit into Mike Shannahan’s offense any longer. Also by giving up a 5th rounder and getting a 6th rounder in return (maybe even a 7th rounder if that is what it takes), the Redskins don’t have a net loss on draft picks, just draft position. Now I realize most football fans don’t care much about draft picks after the top 100 players selected, but there is good value in the lower rounds. And those picks are important for the Redskins, who have a number of holes to fill after this season. They can’t all be filled via free agency (especially with the salary cap coming back).
Why It makes sense for the Browns: Cleveland has done a pretty good job of giving Rogers the Haynesworth treatment, which has almost completely killed his trade value. The Browns also already have a solid NT, who has been starting this year. While they would have gotten more this offseason if they moved Rogers, they aren’t going to increase his value by not playing him. Dockery would be a big upgrade over Floyd Womack at RG and is under team control for the next couple of years, similar to Rogers. The money is roughly about the same so the, Browns wouldn’t save a lot of money, but they would get a quality starting guard in return. In addition they’d move up in the draft, and while I’m sure they’d like to just gain a pick, moving up a round or more is significant. Cleveland is still rebuilding this year (and probably for the next few) so they should look to take what they can get for Rogers. Adding a good guard to help block for their young QB and their new punishing running back is good value.
Analysis: The Redskins would probably win in this deal, but I think they Browns would have to consider it strongly. Rogers given his contract should have big value, but Cleveland has limited it with how they have handled him. At this point they have to take what they can get. Maybe they can pry a D-linemen out of this deal (i.e. Carriker, Holliday, Jarmon…guys who are signed beyond this year) to help increase their value, but regardless it is a solid return. Dockery has played LG for the Skins, so there could be a period of adjustment, but he has always been a hard worker. Cleveland looks to be more of a power team, which fits Dockery perfectly and is probably about the best deal they can hope for. From the Washington point of view, hopefully they are smart enough to not trade Haynesworth, in which case the Redskins offensive line would go from one of their weaknesses, to one of their strengths. Not only would that be the case this year, but going forward as well. As it stands now if they were to trade Haynesworth, they would need to find both a starting quality Nose Tackle, but at least one 3-4 end who can generate pressure. Now two of the three positions would be set, and they could cobble together the rest of their linemen to handle the other one. The Redskins might be an improved team, but they won’t go far if their defense keeps giving up yards like they have. People can say they’ve played some tough offenses, but who do you think they will play in the playoffs/Super Bowl if they make it? A Rogers-Haynesworth defensive tandem, can help put them back on the map, and make that defense playoff caliber.