Many have recently pondered whether or not be in the best interests of the Pittsburgh Steelers to trade Ben Roethlisberger during the upcoming offseason. One such person who has asked this question is Jim Wexell of SteelCityInsider.net, and Wexell’s analysis got me thinking about what it would take for the Steelers to unload their current signal-caller.
As Wexell alluded to in his article, Roethlisberger will still have two seasons left on his current deal so the potential to sign him long-term could entice quarterback-hungry teams to make wildly desperate trade packages to acquire him. Although the Steelers would not necessarily realize a huge amount of cap savings ($5.31 million), any extra room created for the cap-strapped franchise would be a positive.
Yet if Pittsburgh wanted to pull the trigger on a deal, one would have to ask the following:
What would be a fair asking price?
Well, if the Bengals squeezed a first and a second round pick out of Oakland for Carson Palmer and the Redskins dealt two first round picks and a second for “RGIII,” then Pittsburgh’s asking price should be much higher if they are indeed serious about dealing “Big Ben.”
Also, keep in mind that Palmer was on the verge of turning 32 and had not played a regular season down in close to 10 months before he was traded, and that “RGIII” had not even taken a regular season snap at the professional level at all before that trade was done.
If the Steelers want to move “Big Ben,” then their asking price should be at least three first round picks and possibly another two picks in the second, third, or fourth rounds. While the asking price might not be “Herschel Walker-massive,” the Steelers’ brass should not even listen to teams who would be unwilling to part with that type of draft pick currency if not more.
In addition to the high-but-fair asking price, the front office must also be keen on moving Roethlsiberger to an NFC franchise as opposed to one in the AFC. They can ill afford to have the future “Hall of Famer” blocking their road to future postseason berths or the Super Bowls.
Remember when the Packers unloaded Brett Favre on the Jets back in 2008? That was chiefly done so Favre would not hurt them with a team like Minnesota. Granted, Favre was dealt to Minnesota after his only season with New York, but the Packers’ brass kept that idea in mind when they sent him to the Jets.
If you have been unable to tell by now, I for one am totally against the franchise dealing their most important player in the form of Roethlisberger. Most of all, I hope that cool heads prevail in the front office during the winter and that the team elects to build around their veteran quarterback.
At least to me, none of the signal-callers in this upcoming draft class could adequately replace “Big Ben,” and each of them would likely get slaughtered behind the “offensive line” Pittsburgh is currently putting in front of Roethlisberger.
Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, and Tajh Boyd might look impressive right now, but they would be running for their lives against the types of NFL pass rushers they will see. Plus, they won’t have the luxury of playing with the massive talent advantage which their teams and offenses currently possess at the college level either.
I am not saying that the Steelers have a capable replacement for Roethlisberger on their roster at the moment. They don’t. However, Pittsburgh’s brass might want to build up other areas of their team before they hand a gutted and inexperienced team over to a rookie signal-caller.
Just keep the following in mind if you are in the “Trade Roethlisberger” camp:
It took this franchise 20+ years to find a capable replacement for Terry Bradshaw in the form of Roethlisberger. Are you prepared to watch 20+ years of piss-poor to mediocre quarterback play if “Big Ben’s” replacement doesn’t pan out and the front office deals Roethlisberger even though he has three to five years of solid football left in him?
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