By Michael Pisano
News of trade rumors of QB Ben Roethlisberger started to swirl around Sunday reported by Ian Rapport of the NFL Network.
Pittsburgh won against the injury riddled Buffalo Bills on Sunday, but Pittsburgh fans were more concerned about the trade rumors of their franchise quarterback.
The Steelers front office denies all reports of the rumors and after the win on Sunday Big Ben was quoted as saying that the trade accusations were “a load of BS”. But maybe it is time to part ways.
Hey, I am the first one to defend Ben in an argument but things have just not been the same since their last Super Bowl win against the Cardinals in 2008.
Let’s face it, Ben has been injury prone, battled numerous off the field issues (looks like he has cleaned up his act these past couple of years) and the team has missed the playoffs the past two seasons and is looking like they are going to miss a third.
Ben is having one of his worst statistical seasons of his career.
I get it Pittsburgh has many holes. The offensive line can be abysmal at times, the running game can disappear and the receivers drop passes more often than not. But, Ben just signed for a $100 million dollar contract not too long ago.
Pittsburgh signed him to a 100 million dollar contract in the offseason coming off the Super bowl.
Yes, he made another Super bowl appearance in 2010 but we lost and haven’t really done anything since then. Guys like; Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are guys that have contracts of or over $100 million dollar quarterbacks.
The NFL is a what have you done for me lately league (Joe Flacco for example) and at the time when Ben signed that contract the Steelers were comfortable saying “Hey this is the guy we want for a long time”, but doubt might be starting to creep in their mind.
Since Bruce Arians left, this whole offense has struggled including Ben.
Ben had a great relationship with Arians and the road has been rocky between Ben and Todd Haley thus far. Changes are going to come in this off-season, whether its Mike Tomlin leaving, changes at coordinators, (and yes that could include the greatest defensive mind of all time, Dick Lebeau) or cutting loose ends with standup guys like Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark.
But Pittsburgh at least needs to listen to offers and see if it is worth revamping this team and not having Ben at the helm. Not to mention the fact that Ben is due for a contract extension and it doesn’t help that Pittsburgh is strapped for cash. The cap has been an issue for them.
Let’s look at the facts, Ben is 31 years old and isn’t getting any younger.
He is one of the highest paid quarterbacks in this league and is simply not playing like one. With recent success of Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and RG3, it is looking easier and easier for quarterbacks to come and succeed.
The upcoming 2014 draft if littered with quarterback talent.
At the end of the day Pittsburgh needs to see how this season turns out and see if they feel comfortable with Ben leading this team for the next 5 to 6 years.
Let’s not be so quick to shoot down these trade rumors. I have a sneaky suspicion that there will be major changes to come this off season and it could start with Ben.