The Big Ben Trade Rumors are Back

Ben RoethlisbergerBack in November Ian Rapaport of NFL Network caused some chaos when he reported that the Steelers were open to trading Ben Roethlisberger following the season.

At the time, I dismissed the talk as Ian just trying to grab some headlines and take advantage of the rocky situation the Steelers team was in at the time. At the time, Ben said he would retire before accepting a trade.

There’s been some chatter this week that the Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals are interested in trading for Big Ben.

Understand that everything I’m going to say from here on out is purely speculation, from either myself or from sources that say they’ve spoken with someone close to the Steelers.

First of all, that’s not really a rumor. The Texans, Cardinals, and about 20 other NFL teams would be interested if Ben was available. The question is, is he available?

The conspiracy theorists back in November said that Rapoport was being fed information from someone within the Steelers organization, and even though they’d deny it publicly, teams would come calling once the season was over.

If you believe that, then it certainly is starting to look like that’s the case now. Houston makes sense because they seem to be a QB away from a dangerous playoff team and new coach Bill O’Brien supposedly likes the big bodied, strong armed Quarterbacks. The Arians-Ben connection in Arizona is obvious.

I’ve been told that the reasoning for wanting to trade Ben was that his agent knows this is his last chance at a big contract, and with the recent contracts that Flacco, Ryan, and Cutler received, Ben is ready to cash-in.

I’ve also been told that the Rooney family still has some hard feelings over Ben’s past “lapses in judgement” off the field.

So there you have the information that’s going around. Now, I’ll tell you why I think there are some holes there.

Trading away Ben is a huge statement. It’s saying, this team is officially rebuilding.

Rebuild has been a dirty word in the Steelers organization. I thought that this past season, and possibly the one before it were rebuilding years, but if you asked Kevin Colbert, he scoffs at it.

If this team had looked all year like it did in the first 4 games, then I’d maybe say, let’s blow it up and start over…

But the team that finished the season looked like a playoff caliber team to me. Not superbowl, but playoff.

I think that if this team grabs a #2 WR and focuses on the defense in the draft they could be right in the thick of things in the AFC next season. Would the Rooney family really want to blow that up?

Maybe this is all lip service, but everything that Ben has said points to him wanting to stay here, and not at a historically large contract. Ben said he doesn’t want traded, he loves Pittsburgh, Brady is the best because he has the most rings, he wants to win more rings that Bradshaw, he wants to retire a Steeler…

He would have to realize that signing for a deal around 22-23 million per season would cripple this roster.

It seems funny to think about now, because Ben’s career has seemingly gone so quickly… but Ben is the veteran leadership of this football team. If the Steelers trade him, they could have a problem on their hands in the locker room.

I guess to sort of summarize, there’s a lot of unknown about the situation, and none of us know what’s going on. I’m simply trying to lay everything out there for you to make your own judgement.

Personally, my gut tells me that Ben gets a contract extension and retires in Pittsburgh. If Ben does want a contract on par with the one Cutler just received, then some of those rumors get more plausible.

Look at the Packers, Falcons, Ravens, and Cowboys. All gave massive contracts to their quarterbacks and have struggled.

It’s possible the Rooneys see that trend, and have thought about trade options just to cover their bases in the event that Ben’s agents do want to play hardball.

If Ben really cares more about winning, and is willing to accept something that fits under the cap easier, then I really can’t see any argument for trading him.

Nothing any of us can do but wait and see… But I’d expect to see plenty more rumors and speculation between now and the draft in May.

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12 comments on “The Big Ben Trade Rumors are Back

  1. This is a freaking joke to me. Lapses in judgment is what the Rooney’s said about Ben is utterly laughable. Was he ever convicted-NO, is there any evidence to back up those claims by those women- NO. So explain to me what lapses in judgment did Ben make? The Rooney’s are responsible for the firing of Bruce Arians and if they say otherwise there DEAD LIARS. I believe Ben when he said “I’ll retire before I accept a trade”. Yes the recent contracts of Flacco, Romo and Cutler have been undeserving but that said you have to pay Ben as long as both sides can come to an agreement.

    • I probably shouldn’t have used quotes. Lapses in judgement is my words, not theirs but you get the point. I’m not going to comment on that, we could debate that stuff all day and it’s pointless to.

      “as both sides can come to an agreement.”
      That’s the key there. If Ben wants as much as those guys mentioned there likely won’t be an agreement. Like I said towards the end… it comes down to how much Ben wants.

  2. You’re right, this is all speculation, hearsay and rumors. The truest statement in this article is that if Ben were available–and let’s be clear, he’s NOT available (yet)–there are at least 20 teams who would be interested. Most Steeler fans know enough to ignore the rumors until we hear it from the FO. I wouldn’t trade Ben for love or money or any other QB in the NFL.

  3. There are no circumstances about Ben. I’ll make this real simple for everybody: If they trade Ben I promise you the Rooney’s will never see a Title again in this city. Ownership should be thanking Ben for giving them 2 more Trophies and getting them to 3 SuperBowls. The organization has failed to provide Ben with the Weapons he needs to make this offense run smoothly. Instead they want to establish the run more than the pass. There is an old saying in football “Put the ball into the hands of your best player”. The Steelers best player is Ben Roethlisberger himself. Give Ben a legit number 2 WR that comes from the top 2 rounds and not guys who are in the mid rounds that the Brass thinks are better than the guys at the top of the draft at WR. See ART II believes that running is more important than passing. Here is a guy who knows that it’s a passing league and that running the ball is for teams like Seattle and San Fran. The titans are another team that are a run first team. See if ART II was smart and to my knowledge he really isn’t that smart then he would know that while you need a run game it’s not the main priority if today’s offenses. Passing is the primary option and most teams pass more than they run. While it’s good a run game don’t try and tell me that it’s more important than the passing game. The Steelers should embrace the formula that Arians used while he was OC and that formula is this: 60% Pass vs 40% run. That formula is no lie I’ve heard it said a number of times while he was here.

    • There are circumstances where it would make sense. You comment here a lot an like to talk in very black or white terms… The fact is there’s gray area everywhere.

      If Ben wants to demand 25 mil per season, the Steelers are better off trading him. They can’t field a competitive team with that much tied up in one player. The Niners and Seahawks are LOADED with talent in part because they’re not paying a boatload of money to a QB (yet).

  4. I’m not saying that. The recent contracts of these QB’s scare the Rooney’s but as I said before if they don’t pay Ben you can kiss any hope of another ring goodbye.

  5. If they actually traded Ben Id just stop watching them period. They have 2 pro bowl level players in Ben and AB.. If management is moronic enough to think they’ll keep the fan base if they trade Ben then go for it. I could get behind Arizona or Houston I guess.

    • Doogie you are right on the mark when it comes to Ben. I believe Ben when he says he wants to get paid. It’s not his fault guys like Romo and Cutler get a fat contract for doing nothing it’s just the way it is. Nobody ever said his next contract would be quick and painless. Look at his last deal he signed. 4 playoff appearance’s, 2 AFC Title games, 2 trips to the superbowl and his 2nd ring to go along with that as well. Just get him a contract that works for both sides and lets move on from these “rumors”.

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