2010 NFL Draft: What If Ben Roethlisberger Is Traded For Sam Bradford?

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IApril 18, 2010

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 10: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 10, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the trade of Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a case of beer and a couple of bags of nachos, the rumor mill has begun churning about Ben Roethlisberger's future in Pittsburgh.

The Rooney Family does not like the kind of attention their star quarterback has brought to the team and the city. Roethlisberger has been in the press for all the wrong reasons over the last year, and there is no doubt a backlash against the two-time Super Bowl champion has begun.

So what happens if the Rooney's are able to pull the trigger on a trade with the St. Louis Rams for the No. 1 overall pick and take Sam Bradford?

First, you have to look at what that kind of deal might cost.

Roethlisberger is in the prime of his career and already has two Super Bowl rings. That's going to count for a lot of points in the trade. They also would essentially be swapping first round picks, so the deal starts with the Steelers first round pick and Roethlisberger.

From there, it's figuring out how much value Roethlisberger has in regard to the rest of the deal. He'll face a suspension, that seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point, and it  would surprise everyone if it didn't happen.

But that suspension most likely wouldn't be any longer than four games, so how much of a hit to Roethlisberger's value would that really make? Especially considering taking Bradford would take more than four games to get him to develop.

Roethlisberger is developed, he can step right in under center and start winning games for whatever team he plays for this year, no matter what's going on when he's not on the field.

As for the draft, this kind of trade could potentially change everything, or change nothing. The Rams are mocked to take Bradford first, so either way Bradford is the first pick.

But there's Cleveland to consider, they want Bradford as well, and will have to adjust their draft strategy accordingly.

So Pittsburgh fans could rejoice in the idea trading for Bradford would really inconvenience Cleveland.

The downside could be the number of draft picks and/or players the Steelers would have to give up in order to get that number one pick. It's one thing to trade up a few spots, it's another to trade up from the 18th pick.

With Bradford on the team, the off-field controversy would end, and the Steelers would have a year or two to develop the kid with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch on the roster.

Both Dixon and Batch have done good jobs of filling in for Roethlisberger in the past, and there's no reason to think they couldn't do it again. But the key phrase there is "fill in."

If the Steelers make the deal, and Bradford comes to Pittsburgh, that means Dixon and Batch have a whole new situation to deal with, along with the coaching staff.

Since I mentioned Cleveland earlier, how'd that quarterback controversy work out for them?


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