Redskins' Rogers is in a financial corner

By Rick Maese
Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reprinted from yesterday's editions

In Courtroom 501 of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson took his seat. The first of five cases on his docket was William R. Teel, Jr. v. Carlos C. Rogers.

As an attorney for Teel addressed the court, there was no mention of Rogers's employer, the Washington Redskins, and certainly no talk of football. In the brief comments, there were also no details of the case or the financial storm that has swirled around Rogers in recent years.

No one was present on Rogers's behalf. He was at Redskins Park, as his team held its regularly scheduled practice the morning of Dec. 3.

Anderson confirmed that since September, the court had collected four checks ranging in value from $14,663 to $29,362 - money garnished from Rogers's Redskins paychecks - and that the judgment against Rogers had been satisfied. The hearing lasted less than two minutes, effectively and unceremoniously bringing to a close the eight-month case, the details of which provide just a hint of what Rogers has been grappling with away from the football field the past two seasons.

Rogers has earned more than $14 million playing football, but the financial struggles have cost him his home in Leesburg and attached his name to a handful of court cases in Virginia and Georgia. He says he still has money and that any financial problems are in the past.

"All that's behind," Rogers said in an interview Wednesday at Redskins Park. "Will [Teel's] behind. It's over with. The house is over with. Everything is fine."

His troubles come at a time, though, when players across the NFL are being encouraged to be especially conservative with their money. Because the labor uncertainty between team owners and players has put the 2011 season in jeopardy, the union has urged its members to save and warned them against needless spending.

"Coming into money could be a challenge for anyone," said Dana Hammonds, the NFL Players Association's director of player services and development, "and how you deal with friends, family, expectations could be difficult. That's difficult for anyone. That's why we really stress education."

The NFL and the union take steps each year discussing fiscal responsibility with players - from cash flow and investments to the basic understanding that most players will receive only 17 paychecks in a 52-week period - at the annual rookie symposium, in offseason classes, and in educational videos.

Hammond said the current labor uncertainty, which could see owners locking out players on March 3, 2011, serves as a "fire drill" for players who might have to prepare for a time when they don't receive regular football checks and must prepare for a second career.

Economic predicaments

Rogers said he met Teel through a mutual friend. Teel is a successful Washington businessman whose firms specialize in information technology and management consulting, and have made millions of dollars from lucrative government contracts. He's also an ardent Redskins fan who'd grown friendly in recent years with some Redskins players.

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