The NFL decided Tuesday to only fine the Cleveland Browns’ nose tackle and not suspend him for carrying a loaded gun into an airport.
”How’s it better?” Rogers said with a laugh. ”Well, I’m still losing money. I don’t play for free.”
The league said Rogers will be fined a one-game check – roughly $400,000 or one-seventeenth his $6.9 million salary this season – for violating its personal conduct policy. The former Pro Bowler, who has not practiced this summer because of a leg injury that ended his season after 11 games in 2009, is appealing the decision.
Police said Rogers carried a semiautomatic handgun in a carry-on bag into Hopkins International Airport in April. He reached a deal with prosecutors last month and was ordered to enter diversion program to avoid trial on the weapons charge.
Under the terms, the felony gun charge will be dismissed if the 31-year-old Rogers completes the program, which included a gun course and community service.
Rogers said he wasn’t concerned about the league’s decision and that he would abide by whatever commissioner Roger Goodell judged to be fair. Rogers said he never spoke with Goodell about the incident.
”I’ll be straight whatever happens,” Rogers said. ”I always wanted to play, that was never the question.”
Before he made the ruling, Goodell may have factored in that Rogers recently helped police stop a motorist who allegedly was driving under the influence near the Browns’ camp. Rogers pulled to the side of the road and waited for officers to arrive on the scene. He was praised by police for his actions.
Rogers’ defensive line teammate, Robaire Smith, was also caught with a gun at airport security last year in Michigan. He has not heard from the league about a penalty.