It's been announced by Adam Schefter of ESPN( story: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5121614 ) that perennial Cleveland nemesis Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended for a minimum of four games and perhaps as many as six for violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
The quarterback was also ordered to undergo a comprehensive behavioral evaluation. Chris Mortensen of ESPN says Roethlisberger will be evaluated after four games and a decision will be made as to how Ben has been abiding by the treatment plan prescribed for him as a result of the evaluation.
Sitting out all six games would cost Roethlisberger an estimated $2.8 million.
If Roethlisberger misses all six he will miss the first Browns Steelers game on October 17th in Pittsburgh. That would likely leave either Dennis Dixon or Byron Leftwich as the starter of a Steelers squad already missing Santonio Holmes who was traded to the New York Jets. Mike Wallace is likely to start in place of Holmes.
Chris Mortensen is reporting that it is unlikely he will be traded, but the Steelers have reportedly called teams to gauge his trade value and were looking for a top ten pick according to ESPN.
The Steelers have called the Browns and six other teams with top picks to see if they're interested in trading for Roethlisberger, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The other teams are the Rams, 49ers, Raiders, Bills, Jaguars and Seahawks. Of those, the Rams and Bills have said "no thanks'' according to Schefter.
At least one team was rumored to be debating a trade internally but wanted more information about his suspension first. No word on whether that team was the Browns.
Mortensen says that Commisioner Roger Goodell is using Roethlisberger as an example of what not to do and that no one is exempt from the obligation to act professionally.
In a letter to Roethlisberger, Goodell wrote, "In your six years in the NFL, you have first thrilled and now disappointed a great many people. I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity to get your life and career back on track."
The question has to be asked: Is this the type of individual Mike Holmgren and Randy Lerner want to entrust their franchise with? Just the fact that the Browns weren't one of the teams that immediately said no is somewhat disturbing.
His talent is undeniable, any one who has watched him pick apart our beloved Browns over the years knows that. The situations he has put himself in are not run of the mill DUIs or assaults. They are allegations of sexual assault against women. No matter how I try to phrase it, the allegations are lurid and uncomfortable. I don't think that I would want my eleven year old son wearing his jersey or cheering him on on Sundays.
I know everybody is entitled to rehabilitate themself, I just don't know if our team could ever successfully separate itself from his history if he was at the helm.
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