Yesterday’s news from NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport that suggested Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may seek a trade during the offseason came as a bit of a surprise, but it wasn’t really that shocking.
Roethlisberger has every right to be unhappy with the direction the organization has been heading the past couple of seasons and I see no problem with him asking to be traded if he thought that was the best course of action.
Now both Roethlisberger and the Steelers have openly denied Rapaport’s story, which is typical for both sides, especially at this point in the season.
Deep down inside Big Ben may want traded, but he doesn’t want to cause a distraction, or does ownership want to deal with questions the rest of the season, knowing that even if they wanted to trade Roethlisberger, they can’t do anything about it until the offseason anyway.
My initial reaction is that even though both sides were quick to get in front of this story, there has to be a little something to it.
A credible reporter such as Rapaport isn’t just going to make a story like that up. It may not be as serious of an issue as he made it out to be, but he isn’t going to run with a story like that unless he had sources and believed some of it to be true.
And if any of it has any merit, I say good for Roethlisberger.
Now I see very little chance that Big Ben won’t be in a Steelers uniform next season or the foreseeable future, but I have no problem with him speaking out and showing his displeasure.
This is an organization that has quickly gone from a Super Bowl team to a team with holes at almost every position on the football field.
Roethlisberger knows you need talent to win and the Steelers simply don’t have it. Even worse, they have been so cash strapped lately that they haven’t been able to add quality talent even if they wanted to.
That’s a problem that’s not going away any time soon.
On the field Roethlisberger takes a beating week in and week out. The Steelers have tried to upgrade the offensive line but have failed. Is he supposed to just sit there and get his butt kicked for a few more years until the problem is finally solved?
There’s also the fact that his weapons have been taken away.
He can’t be happy that some team’s third and fourth wide receivers are more talented than the Steelers second option?
The bottom line is that Roethlisberger has been a winner his entire career and has to be completely frustrated with not only how the team is performing on the field, but how the front office is performing off it.
For years now Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert has not drafted well and we are seeing the culmination of all of that now.
Roethlisberger likely has four or five more years at best playing at a high level. Can you blame him to not want to be a part of a rebuilding process?
For him, a trade would make sense if he could go to a place when he would have a chance to win another ring or two before it is all said and done.
For the Steelers it may make sense also.
Roethlisberger is their one true trade chip that could net them quite a few picks. Assuming they would use them wisely, it could go a long way in adding talent to this team.
Despite their win against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, there isn’t much in terms of talent that would make you think this is a quick one year fix. Given their salary cap issues, it could be another two or three years before this team is back to where it could contend for the Vince Lombardi Trophy year in and year out.
By that time Big Ben’s career would be all but finished.
At the end of the day though I don’t think there is much to this story and I would hate to see Roethlisberger in another uniform to finish his career.
But I certainly couldn’t blame him much if he did want out.