Carlos Rogers will sign his RFA tender, but not just yet
As Rick Maese of the Washington Post reminds us this morning, today and June 15 are important dates for some of the NFL’s remaining unsigned restricted free agents, a group that includes Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers and linebacker Rocky McIntosh.
The Redskins today can (and are expected to) extend their qualifying offers to Rogers and McIntosh and continue to protect their rights to those two.
Just don’t expect Rogers to sign the offer soon.
“I’m going to sign it before training camp,” Rogers said last week. “I’m not saying that in a negative way, but the June 15 thing don’t apply to me.”
He’s right. League rules state that if a club’s initial qualifying offer to a RFA was greater than 110 percent of his 2009 base salary, the club can reduce the offer amount to 110 percent on June 15 if the RFA still hasn’t signed it by then.
The Redskins tendered Rogers a one-year deal worth $1.543 million. That’s exactly 110 percent of his 2009 salary, so they can’t reduce that amount.
Rogers spouted much of this off the top of his head during an interview after last Wednesday’s OTA practice. It was quite impressive.
“You’ve got to know what’s going on because I personally thought I had to sign it before the 15th, too,” he said with a laugh. “I talked to my agent (Todd France), like, ‘What’s goin on? I need to go on and sign this thing or whatever.’ But he’s like, ‘Nah, it’s no rush with me and my situation.’”
At this point, it doesn’t appear that Rogers has much to gain by waiting. The Redskins could withdraw their offer and make him an unrestricted free agent, or they could have a change of heart and commit to a long-term contract before the season, but neither is likely.
But Rogers doesn’t have much to lose, either, so why not wait for the improbable?
In the meantime, he plans on dismissing thoughts about his contract from his mind.
“Even last year playing, you don’t go into a game thinking about contract,” he said. “You just think about making a play or not getting beat. If you go in with a mindset thinking about contracts—‘I need to be doing this so I can get paid more,’ or, ‘I shouldn’t have did that’—it’s going to mess me up. You’re gonna be screwed up the whole year.”
There is a bit of an ironic twist to his situation, too.
Rogers, who turns 29 on July 2, expected to be with another club this season. Not only was he scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but he also was benched for a brief stretch during the 2009 season. He was outspoken against management at times and seemed more than ready to move on.
But provisions in the CBA kept him a restricted free agent and limited his mobility. Then, the Redskins’ new regime took over.
Realizing that the league’s CBA situation left him without much leverage, he decided it would be best to commit to Mike Shanahan’s offseason and position himself for a quality 2010 season. That could help boost his earning power next offseason.
So far this spring, he has been practicing with the first-team defense alongside cornerback DeAngelo Hall.
“I thought I wasn’t gonna be back here, but I’m here to stay for another year, at least,” Rogers said. “After that, everything will settle itself out. Being with new coaches and the staff that we got and what’s going on, if I can play in this system for the rest of my career, I’d love to.”