*DAILY FIVE IS BACK — RUMBLINGS, MUSINGS & OPINIONS*
1. UPROAR OVER SUGGESSTION THAT BEN MIGHT BE TRADED
I don’t know the guy but to me NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport is getting a bit of a bad rap from the fan base and even the local media over his reporting about the possibility that Ben Roethlisberger might be traded. Rapoport on Sunday reported that “team sources expect Roethlisberger to ask the Steelers to explore a possible trade in the offseason.” The report has led to an uproar from the fan base and a lot of bashing towards Rapoport from the local media. Big surprise there since they weren’t the ones to report it! Based on the uproar from the fans and local media, you would think Rapoport reported something so ridiculous like the Penguins might trade Sidney Crosby this off-season. What a lot of fans and the media are overlooking is that while a Roethlisberger trade is unlikely, it’s not that far-fetched. The funniest part in all of this is how some statements from the agent and team are being portrayed by the media as having such a strong meaning. How’s Bruce Arians retirement going?
2. STEELERS OWE IT TO THEMSELVES TO CONSIDER ALL OPTIONS WITH BEN
The million dollar question at the end of the day is whether the best move for both sides is eventually a trade. The Steelers trading Roethlisberger for multiple picks could accelerate their rebuild which looks like at least a 2-3 year rebuild. Ben could flourish with another team surrounded by more talent and have a better chance elsewhere to win a third Super Bowl. Could be a win-win for both sides.
The Steelers owe it to themselves to at least consider the possibility but I don’t think they take that route and will believe they are just a player or two away from turning this around when they really aren’t. There’s going to be some huge holes to fill defensively over the next couple years and it’s hard to imagine the offense suddenly becoming an elite one anytime soon. Roethlisberger remains a good quarterback but he’s showed no signs of being an elite quarterback with the type of mediocre talent around him. He just doesn’t have that ability to carry a team. It’s unlikely the talent around him improves greatly in the next year or two.
3. STEELERS MADE BIG MISTAKE NOT MAKING ATTEMPT TO RESIGN KEENAN LEWIS
If people want to call the Pirates cheap for not making a qualifying offer to A.J. Burnett, then lets not overlook the Steelers decision to not to make any attempt to resign Keenan Lewis who wanted to return badly before inking a 5 year, $26 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. The decision not to resign Lewis was financially motivated. Lewis has been great for the Saints and the agent for Lewis says the Steelers never made an actual offer despite Lewis willing to resign before free agency due to his admiration to keep playing for Dick LeBeau. The Steelers went the cheap route believing William Gay at 3 years – $3 million was better value. Lewis carries just a $2.6 million cap hit for this season and has been a playmaker for the Saints with 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. Ike Taylor is 33 and on the downside of his career. Another huge hole that could have been filled long-term with Lewis.
4. DWYER HAS BEEN STEELERS MOST IMPRESSIVE RUNNING BACK THIS SEASON
One excellent game against the Baltimore Ravens has led to pundits labeling Le’Veon Bell a star. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In three of five stars this season, Bell has averaged under 2.6 yards per carry and while he’s shown signs of having great power in between the tackles, he’s been ordinary for the most part. I believe he’s going to be a good back in this league but I don’t think he’s going to as good as Rashard Mendenhall was pre-knee injury. Mendenhall had that ability to give you a 150 yard game every once in a while during his first three years as a starter that I don’t think the Steelers will get from Bell, who doesn’t have a lot of game breaking ability. If you break down the film, Jonathan Dwyer has been the Steelers most impressive running back this season and he really got a raw deal financially as the Steelers cut him prior to the season when he was due $1.3 million. They kept Isaac Redman who eventually got cut and Redman’s gets his full $1.3 million salary. Dwyer resigned for $630,000.
5. HAPPY VETERANS DAY
Lastly Happy Veterans Day to all of our service men and women currently serving and who have served.