Point-Counterpoint: Let Rogers walk?

Point-Counterpoint: Let Rogers walk?
April 1, 2011, 10:26 am
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Friday, April 1, 2011 6:30 AMBy Rich Tandler and Ryan OHalloran
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Whenever the NFL lockout ends, it is likely Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers will be an unrestricted free agent. He has hinted strongly that his services for 2011 and beyond will go to the highest bidder. Without a hometown discount, should the Redskins do whatever it takes to keep Rogers? Or should they let him walk? Rich Tandler and Ryan OHalloran debate the question in this weeks edition of Point-Counterpoint.Rich Tandler: Im not one of those who gets on Carlos about his hands of stone. Ive always said that you drop a potential interception, you were in the right place at the right time. Rogers is not a shutdown corner but hes a very good one. Still, hes going to be 30 before the season starts and a team that is looking to rebuild and get younger should think long and hard before signing a cornerback who is that age to what will be a pricey deal.Ryan OHalloran: This is a big decision for Mike Shanahan. Part of me thinks Rogers who is a personal favorite of mine because of his relationship with the media wants to move on and get a fresh start in another city. The other part thinks the Redskins have to do what it takes to retain his services. If Rogers leaves and Phillip Buchanon is also a free agent, it creates yet another hole to fill. Rogers served as the Redskins slot cornerback (a tough position to fill), is physical against the run and relatively durable.Tandler: While there are plenty of Redskins fans who would love to give Rogers a ticket out of town and would drive him to the airport they better be careful what they wish for. His departure would create a hole that would suck up some resources that are needed in other positions. But can Kevin Barnes, who was a third-round pick two years ago, or Byron Westbrook, who has been in the organization for four years, step up into a starting role? That really is the key question here. The problem is that the coaching staff has limited film on which to evaluate those players. According to Ryans breakdown of snaps played last year, Westbrook was on the field for just 51 plays on defense (4.7 percent). Barnes played 306 snaps but a good number of those were at safety. Thats some very limited data on which to make such a critical decisions.OHalloran: Going with Barnes or Westbrook in a third cornerback situation, much less a starting role, would be a tremendous leap of faith considering the aforementioned lack of experience. And especially in the NFC East, which features in no certain order, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Two top-flight corners are needed to combat that skill. I would even favor re-signing Phillip Buchanon and making him a starter because if Rogers leaves, teams would likely take advantage of Barnes and Westbrook.Tandler: The other option to replace Rogers would be to hit the free agent market. The biggest name, and by far the best player, on the market will be Nnamdi Asomugha of the Raiders. But the best also will be the most expensive and all of the work the Redskins have done to get their salary cap in order would be gone as soon as Asomugha inked a deal that would be worth in the neighborhood of 10 million a year. Like Rogers, Asomugha will be on the wrong side of 30 years old soon and it would be better to pay Rogers about half of what Nnamdi would make and spend the rest of the money to fill other holes.You can reach Ryan by email at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com and you can write Rich at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net.