Point-Counterpoint: Carlos Rogers or Josh Wilson

Point-Counterpoint: Carlos Rogers or Josh Wilson
November 4, 2011, 12:31 pm
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By Rich Tandler and Ryan O'Halloran
When the NFL lockout ended in late July, one of the Redskins biggest free agent moves was the decision not to sign one of their players. Cornerback Carlos Rogers, who had started 68 games since 2005, signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers without a fight from the Redskins. Instead, Washington signed Josh Wilson to be its starting cornerback opposite DeAngelo Hall.Was this the right move? Will they regret letting a former ninth overall pick walk away? Rich Tandler and Ryan OHalloran debate the question in this weeks edition of Point-Counterpoint:Rich Tandler: The Redskins made the right move in letting Rogers go. Yes, I know he has three interceptions in seven games for the 6-1 49ers, one more than he had the last two seasons combined here. But thats not the important number. Rogers turned 30 in July. In 2008, the Dallas Cowboys signed 30-year-old Terrence Newman to a six-year, 50.2 million contract extension. That is about what it would cost to lock up Rogers long term. That deal has looked worse and worse every year since it was signed. Sinking money into an aging cornerback was not a good idea for the Cowboys and it would not have been a good idea for the Redskins.Ryan OHalloran: Rogers is one of my top five all-time Redskins to deal with in the locker room but removing that from the equation, Mike Shanahan should already rue the decision to move on from Rogers, instead giving Wilson money and trusting Kevin Barnes to be the third cornerback. On the field, Rogers was valuable because he could play the slot spot in nickel situations (Wilson doesnt). He was physical in the run game (Wilson isnt). And he put himself in position for interceptions, even though he had a terminal case of the drops (Wilson hasnt). If Rogers had no interceptions and the 49ers werent 6-1, I would still say it was a mistake just based on Wilsons uneven play.Tandler: No question Rogers has been better than Wilson through seven games of one season. But this team is viewing moves on a time horizon extending two or three years from now. At that point, when they might be ready to contend, Rogers will be 32 or 33 and, chances are, in decline like Newman is now. Some team, whether its the Niners or someone else, is going to be paying increasing prices for decreasing production. The Redskins dont have a huge financial commitment to Wilsonthree years, 13.5 million with 6 million guaranteed. If he develops like they hope he will, thats a good value. If not, they can cut him loose with suffering only modest salary cap pain and move on.OHalloran: Once the Redskins moved on from Rogers (and vice versa), the real mistake could end up being who they replaced him with. They signed a player with two big red flags. He was a second-round pick whose first team Seattle discarded after only three years (he was 24). And then when free agency hit, his second team Baltimore let him go in free agency, instead re-signing Chris Carr. The Redskins objective in replacing Rogers should have been a player who could play the slot.Tandler: Perhaps the identity of Rogers replacement is up for debate. But the Redskins were going to have to replace him with someone. He told us on Wednesday that he decided two years ago before Shanahan was even on the scene he would be exiting Ashburn at his first opportunity.OHalloran: Two words Nnamdi Asomugha.You can reach Ryan OHalloran by email at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com and you can email Rich Tandler atRTandlerCSN@comcast.net . Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanohalloran and follow Rich @Rich_Tandler.