Charles Rogers
No. 80     
Wide Receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1981-05-23) May 23, 1981 (age 39)
Place of birth: Saginaw, Michigan
Career information
College: Michigan State
NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Detroit Lions ( 2003 2005)
Career highlights and awards
* First-team All-Big Ten (2001, 2002)
Games played     15
Games started     9
Receptions     36
Receiving yards     440
Touchdowns     4
Stats at
Stats at

Charles Rogers (born May 23, 1981) is a former American football wide receiver who played three seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Michigan State University, earned unanimous All-America honors, and was recognized as the outstanding college wide receiver in the country. The Detroit Lions selected him with the second overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, but he was out of the league after only three years due to injuries and off-field issues. He is often ranked as one of the biggest busts in NFL history.[1][2][3]

Early yearsEdit

Rogers was born in Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Saginaw High School, and was a letterman in high school football, basketball, and track for the Saginaw Trojans. In football, he was a three-time all-state honoree and a five-star recruit.

College careerEdit

While attending Michigan State University, Rogers played for the Michigan State Spartans football team from 2000 to 2002. He broke numerous receiving records. Rogers still holds the school records for most touchdowns in a career with 27, breaking the record held by former Spartans wide receiver Kirk Gibson, and the school record for most receiving yards in a single game with 270. He broke Randy Moss's NCAA record of 13 consecutive games with a touchdown catch. During his 2002 junior season, he had 68 receptions for 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns, won the Fred Biletnikoff Award and Paul Warfield Trophy as the best college wide receiver in the nation, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.[4] His stock went up dramatically in his junior year when, in a game against Notre Dame, he outjumped two defenders to catch a Jeff Smoker pass in the back of the end zone, then managed to keep his left foot in bounds to score a touchdown.[5]

College statisticsEdit

Year Team GP Rec Yards TDs
2001 MSU 12 67 1,470 14
2002 MSU 12 68 1,351 13
College Totals 24 135 2,821 27


Professional careerEdit

Rogers was drafted second overall in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, one pick ahead of University of Miami Wide Receiver Andre Johnson.

Rogers caught 22 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns during his first five games of the 2003 season, before breaking his clavicle while practicing a speed drill with Dré Bly, leaving him out for the season. On the third play of the 2004 season, against the Chicago Bears, Rogers suffered another broken clavicle, knocking him out for the season. He was so devastated by the injury that the Lions allowed him to go home for the remainder of the season. Years later, Lions general manager Matt Millen said that in hindsight, he made a mistake by letting Rogers be away from the team for an extended period of time.[5]

During the 2005 season, Rogers was suspended for four games for a third violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. As a result of this violation, the Lions filed a grievance, claiming that his drug suspension violated a clause in his contract, which would mean Rogers would be obligated to return $10 million of the $14.2 million the Lions gave him in bonuses. The Detroit Free Press would later report that Rogers failed drug tests each year while at Michigan State. Citing Lions chief operating officer Tom Lewand, a report October 9, 2008 stated that Rogers must repay the team around $8.5 million.[7] Upon his return from suspension, despite the fact that Rogers was deemed healthy, he played only nine games, with three starts, and was declared inactive for four games. He caught 14 passes for 197 yards and one touchdown.

On September 2, 2006, Rogers was released by the Lions. Newly hired head coach Rod Marinelli did not think Rogers' work ethic was a match for the team. After releasing him, Marinelli said, "We picked the men that are right for this football team. It's behind us."[8]

After his release, Rogers worked out for the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006. However, all of them opted not to sign him due to 40-yard dash times of around 4.8 seconds; at his peak, he consistently recorded times of 4.4 seconds.[5]

NFL seasonEdit

Year Team Games Receptions Receiving Yards Yards per Reception Longest Reception Receiving Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
2003 DET 5 22 243 11.0 33 3 13 0 0
2004 DET 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2005 DET 9 14 197 14.1 35 1 11 0 0
Career -- 15 36 440 12.2 35 4 24 0 0

Personal life and legal issuesEdit

Rogers has fathered 8 children with 4 women, two of whom were born before he graduated from high school.[5]

He was arrested in September 2008 and charged with assault and battery of his girlfriend, Naija Washington, and the charges were later dropped. In December 2008, Rogers was sentenced to attend sobriety court or face jail time after violating his probation. He tested positive for Vicodin. In March 2009, Rogers was jailed for violating probation.[10] On September 16, 2009, Rogers was arrested in Novi, Michigan for driving under the influence of alcohol after being found unresponsive behind the wheel of his car by police.[11] Rogers was arrested again in Novi, MI on January 5, 2010, having passed out after drinking at an On the Border restaurant, which was a violation of a sobriety court order,[12] and subsequently sentenced to a 93-day jail term.[13]

In August 2009, in an interview with ESPN's Jemele Hill, Rogers admitted that he had not only been addicted to Vicodin, but also smoked marijuana regularly. He'd tested positive for marijuana twice while at Michigan State, and a test at the NFL combine detected excess water in his system. He was so distraught over his second collarbone injury that he began smoking marijuana daily to deal with the pain. He also said that his hard living contributed to his downfall in the NFL. "I got a little greedy. The girls played a part in it," Rogers said. "I fucked up. Point blank, simple." [5]

Rogers was ordered by a judge in April 2010 to return $6.1 million of his $9.1 million signing bonus to the Lions. The judge agreed with the Lions' contention that Rogers' drug use had breached his contract.[14]

On December 3, 2011, Rogers was pulled over by Michigan State police near the intersection of Dearborn and Fayette in Saginaw. Police found some sort of open alcohol container. A post commander says they are seeking warrants. It will be up to the prosecutor to determine possible charges. Rogers was not detained and police released him.[15]

As of April 2017, Rogers lives in Fort Myers, Florida, working at an auto repair shop.[16]


  1. Klopman, Michael (April 22, 2010). "NFL Draft BUSTS: 14 HUGE Draft Disasters Of The Decade (PHOTOS)". Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  2. Noco, Dave (June 27, 2017). "11 of the Biggest NFL Draft Busts of All Time". CheatSheet. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  4. 2011 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 11 (2011). Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Hill, Jemele. Lion Flub. ESPN, September 14, 2009.
  7. [1]
  8. [2]
  9. "Charles Rogers Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  10. Retrieved on March 25, 2009.
  12. Retrieved on January 6, 2010.
  13. Retrieved on January 7, 2010.

External linksEdit

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