Celevland Browns Tackle Shaun Rogers Avoids Gun Charge

July 16, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has had a lot of reason to suspend players this offseason. From the Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault trial to the new Michael Vick transgressions, Goodell’s desk has surely be littered with suspension paperwork.

One more was added to the list when Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers was arrested for bringing a semi-automatic handgun through Cleveland Hopkins Airport security.

Rogers and attorney Pat D’Angelo maintain that bringing the gun to the airport was a mistake. They say the three-time Pro Bowler simply forgot the gun was in the bag. Rogers entered a pre-trail diversion program Thursday to avoid a possible felony indictment.

According to the terms of the agreement, the gun charge will be dropped if Rogers completes 40 hours of volunteer service and a 10-hour gun class. He is also required to turn in the gun to police.

D’Angelo told reporters while his client was being processed that the diversion agreement will most likely last up to a year, and Rogers will be involved with a program that tries to cut down truancy in Cleveland area public schools. He also said that his client has received no special treatment because of his status as a professional athlete.

The diversion program might keep Rogers from being suspended by Goodell if he is able to complete it. Also helping Shuan’s case is the fact that he had a license for the gun prior to bringing it into the airport. Goodell and the NFL are currently reviewing the case, but have not made the decision to take any action so far.

“The fact is that athletes are a target, they are victimized in some senses and targets by the criminal element,” D’Angelo said. “Some of them feel that they need to have weapons for their own protection. Those are personal judgments that each individual makes.”

The former Detroit Lions star has been in trouble with the law before in 2007. Rogers was accused of sexually assaulting a stripper, but charges were not filed due to lack of evidence.

Rogers is third all-time on the University of Texas’ tackles for a loss list with 53. He recorded 199 tackles (108 solo), 14 sacks, and 54 pressures over his career as a Longhorn. After running a 5.3 second 40-yard dash prior to the 2001 NFL draft, Rogers shot up the draft board. The Detroit Lions selected him in the second round with the 61st overall pick.

USA sportsbooks have set the Browns as the underdogs in many categories including their chances to win the AFC North at +1500. They are tied with the Oakland Raiders at +5000 to win the 2010 AFC Championship, and pre-season lines for them to win Super Bowl XLV have been set at +10000.

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