Browns: On Rogers and the roster

By Zac Jackson
8-31-10, 5:33 p.m.

The Browns got their roster to 75 Tuesday afternoon by waiving four players and placing DT Titus Adams on injured-reserve.

The most recognizable name of the waived bunch is DB Gerard Lawson, who had made the team the last two years exclusively as a special teams player. The DUI charge Lawson received early this month on the team’s first night off of training camp probably didn’t help his cause.

Also cut were DB John Bowie, WR Taurus Johnson and OL John Malecki, all of whom were added after the start of camp.

The big Browns news of the day involves the biggest Brown, Shaun Rogers. The NFL announced the former Pro Bowl nose tackle will be fined a game check but not suspended for his April 1 arrest for carrying a loaded weapon into Cleveland Hopkins Airport. The league announced Rogers is appealing.

Why or what, exactly, he’s appealing is anyone’s guess. But the Browns need Rogers, who’s missed all of camp while rehabbing from a broken leg he suffered last December. Eric Mangini hinted last week that placing Rogers on PUP, keeping him off the active roster and ineligible to play for six weeks, remains an option. Rogers doesn’t appear to be in game shape and has been mum with the media for most of camp, but he is a physical freak and a playmaker — the kind the Browns need as they face winnable games the first two weeks of the regular season.

The Browns have a capable young replacement for Rogers in Ahtyba Rubin. The decision they face on Rogers this weekend is maybe the most important of a few tough roster decisions they’ll face and ultimately provide us a glimpse into who’s carrying the weight in regards to the Mangini/Tom Heckert/Mike Holmgren dynamic. The company line is that Heckert makes the final calls on the roster, but we will see.

The NFL announced nothing on Robaire Smith, Rogers’ close friend and linemate who was arrested this spring on a similar charge that stemmed back to last November.