Posted by Andy Benoit
Shaun Rogers was not the only prominent Brown who got released on Wednesday. The team also parted ways with DE Kenyon Coleman, LB David Bowens, LB Eric Barton, OT John St. Clair and TE Robert Royal.
This is a classic rebuilding move. All of these dismissed players were in their 30s (and, defensively, all were “Mangini guys”). Coleman was a solid starter in ’10, particularly against the run. But he’s tailor made for a 3-4, not the 4-3 that new Cover 2-oriented defensive coordinator Dick Jauron figures to install.
Bowens was another solid run defender, but his senescence became obvious whenever he had to make plays in space. Plus, like Coleman, Bowens is tailored for a 3-4.
Barton was still a viable downhill attacker, but with Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita able to hold down the 4-3 outside linebacker positions, there’s no sense keeping the 34-year-old around.
Bowen could still latch on as a veteran filler with a team like the Patriots or Jets; Barton’s history of neck problems make his outlook iffier.
As for St. Clair and Royal – they’re both journeymen at the tail end of their careers. St. Clair’s versatility could land him a job as a backup; Royal would probably be wise to take up some new hobbies and get mentally prepared to open the door to his post-football life.
The only member of this bunch who will undoubtedly be on an NFL roster in 2011 is Rogers. He’s coming off a quiet season in which the team mistakenly chose to play him at end instead of nose tackle. But despite this and a serious leg injury at the end of ’09, the 300-and-whatever-pounder still has impressive power and initial burst.
There have been multiple reports this week that Rogers will visit the Washington Redskins. (You can connect your own dots on what that could mean for Albert Haynesworth.) Jason La Canfora of NFL.com says that nearly a third of the league has contacted Rogers, but that he’s in no hurry to sign anywhere.
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