Ben Roethlisberger: Steelers Open To Trading Him

Hank K.Contributor IApril 15, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks back to the huddle after injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins 30-24.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Although no charges will be filed against Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers still appear to be extremely displeased with their $102 million quarterback's decision-making.

According to 's Jason LA Canfora, the Steelers have had "significant internal discussions" about trading Roethlisberger . Despite Roethlisberger's two Super Bowl rings, the Rooney family is concerned about Steeler fans' reaction to Roethlisberger's off-field troubles.

"The Steelers' front office has talked internally about possible trade scenarios that could be feasible and what makes sense for the team," La Canfora's report said, "According to a source, if other teams called about Roethlisberger, the Steelers would intently listen."

Georgia District Attorney Fred Bright's words on Monday did nothing to soften the outrage fans felt over Roethlisberger's legal issue.  While Bright felt he was unable to press charges due to a lack of DNA evidence, he made it clear that he felt Roethlisberger was in the wrong after going into a public restroom with a 20-year-old college girl.

"We are not condoning Mr. Roethlisberger's actions that night," Bright said during his press conference on Monday, "We do not prosecute morals. We prosecute crimes. The victim and the family all unanimously reconfirmed they don't want to pursue this matter any further. Before making any decision, we made a point to have the clearest most accurate record of what occurred."

Due to the victim's intoxication, a lack of DNA evidence, and the fact that the bar's security cameras were not pointed at the restroom in which the incident occurred, Bright was unable to obtain enough evidence to prosecute.  Still, he made his opinions of Roethlisberger's behavior very clear.

"Ben, grow up," Bright said when asked what he would tell Roethlisberger if Roethlisberger were his son, "Come on, you’re supposed to stand for something. I mean, you’re the leader. You should be a role model. You don’t need to put yourself in this position anymore.''

Bright's condemnation of Roethlisberger's behavior, coupled with the sordid details Bright recounted during the press conference, may have been enough to end the Steelers' relationship with their quarterback. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Steelers president Art Rooney II was "furious" after watching the press conference.

"During the past few weeks I have met with Ben on a number of occasions, not only to discuss this incident but also to discuss his commitment to making sure something like this never happens again," Rooney said earlier in the week, "The Pittsburgh Steelers take the conduct of players and staff very seriously. Ben will now have to work hard to earn back the respect and trust of Steelers fans, and to live up to the leadership responsibilities we all expect of him."

According to NBCSports 's, Steelers president Art Rooney declared at a press conference this afternoon that Roethlisberger will be disciplined by the Steelers and that the punishment would be announced the week after the draft.

"We believe that each of our players not only has a responsibility to live up to the highest standards on the field, but equally high standards off the field," Rooney said at the press conference.

Roethlisberger's conduct is even more embarrassing to the Steelers because it has garnered league-wide attention.  Roger Goodell stated at the owners' meetings last month that he was "concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position."

It seems as if the Steelers have contemplated trading Roethlisberger to eliminate this embarrassment, but La Canfora's report claims it might be difficult to find a trade partner, saying the Steelers are "skeptical about other teams taking on Roethlisberger, given his baggage."
According to La Canfora, the Steelers have eyed trading Roethlisberger to the Rams for a chance to draft Sam Bradford, but such a trade is unlikely.


"In particular, the Steelers are enamored with likely No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford," La Canfora's report said. "They essentially view Bradford as a sure-thing franchise quarterback and have considered what it would take to move up to the No. 1 pick in a trade with the St. Louis Rams, according to a source. However, the Steelers know executing such a move would be highly difficult, and they figure the Rams have limited interest in Roethlisberger."