The news around the league: Big Ben is on his way out of Pittsburgh.
Say it isn’t so!
As a 28-year-old, two time Super Bowl quarterback, Big Ben is a such threat to defensive players to the point that defensive coordinators specifically go out to look for players that can take him down in a blitz. This guy is one of a kind and the Steelers want to trade him because of behavioral scandal allegations?
Or, are they trading him because of the suspension for the 2010–2011 season?
Will Big Ben even see the field next season?
This is what we do know: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger without pay for six games for conduct detrimental to the league in violation of the personal conduct policy.
The reaction to this news has so far been mixed. I said in my article Ben Roethlisberger’s Bullet Proof attitude enforced by the Media commissioner Roger Goodell has made it clear in his almost four-year tenure that if you keep putting yourself in situations where you can be accused of wrong-doing—even falsely in some cases—you still bear some of the blame for creating the environment that led to the trouble.
Once is an accident and twice is a trend has roughly become Goodell’s rule of thumb, and while the commissioner has been relatively quick to drop the hammer on guys like Pacman and Tank Johnson he has be sort of mute with Big Ben.
He never punished Roethlisberger for the bike incident or the 2008 rape incident (Click here to read the full article).
Giving the above points, Roethlisberger was handed a four to six games suspension, pending comprehensive behavioral evaluation and reviews prior to the season by Goodell with hopes of reducing the suspension to four games or extending the suspension longer.
I say the punishment is just right, and I believe even Big Ben will have to agree. So let’s put to rest the fairness of the punishment.
So with Roethlisberger’s availability this season remaining in some doubt since the suspension is open-ended, the Steelers are shopping the pillar of their franchise and are asking for a top-10 draft pick in return.
This might be difficult for any team to give the Steelers the top-10 pick they want for someone who might not contribute this season.
The Steelers have long been regarded as the league’s best-run franchise and have always stayed away from troubled characters regardless of talentthis is evident in the Santonio Holmes trade, and now it seems Big Ben might be next!
The Rooneys I guess are making it clear that they have had it with players behaving badly. If the Rooneys can actually show success in ridding themselves of bad actors and still maintain success on the field, then perhaps they’ll transform the sport.
But that’s not going to happen. As long as professional sport is based on young athletes with lots of money and free time, we are always going to have athletes behaving badly.
And if the Steelers trade Big Ben, they will not win six games next.
There is no guarantee that any of the top draft prospects in this year’s draft can even play in the NFL, or if their new-found wealth or friends will not lead them down the wrong path, or even amplify the ills they already have (and that no one knows about right now).
My father says when it comes to business “the devil you know, is better than the angel you don’t know” and I understand the Steelers are a very image driven franchise. I also know they want to win, hence the top-10 draft pick request in exchange.
So, if the Steelers want to win games and take this very proud franchise back to the playoffs and even win more Super Bowls any time soon, then they should treat their quarterback like a member of the family and see him through these tough times.