As reported first by the Detroit Free Press, former Michigan State standout wide receiver and Detroit Lion Charles Rogers is dead at the age of 38.
Rogers, you may remember, was the second of Matt Millen’s collective of draft busts, picked second overall coming out of Michigan State in 2003. Prior to his knee injury, Willis McGahee was thought to be a target of the Lions at that spot, and as we saw, that still would have been a better pick. Rogers broke his clavicle in consecutive years, then a drug suspension led his career to a close in ignominy in 2005.
Rogers had a $14.4 million signing bonus, which the Lions took action to partially recover after his career ended. Rogers faded more or less into the fog, working at an auto shop in Florida and fathering eight children(!).
The Free Press indicates that Rogers may have been battling a combination of cancer and liver disease, but these are not confirmed.