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Insider Only NFL: Oakland, Seattle to make a play for Roethlisberger

Steelers expect to hear from Seahawks prior to draft day?

NFL executives put the percentages at about 15-20% that Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be traded prior to Thursday’s NFL draft.
The Steelers are not actively shopping Roethlisberger but are listening to offers.
The Steelers are expecting inquiries on their franchise quarterback.
Two teams that are believed to be mulling a potential play for Roethlisberger is the Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks.
Word around the league is that Pittsburgh’s asking price is a 1st round pick + an impact player or two 1st rounders.
One source said there is talk around the league that the Steelers are hopeful that the Seahawks will come calling this week.
The Seahawks have the No. 6 and 14 selections in Thursday’s draft and could package their No. 6 selection along with their 2011 first-round pick to get the Steelers attention.
The Seahawks are very high on 27 year old quarterback Charlie Whitehurst but the chance to acquire one of the games best quarterbacks to begin the Pete Carroll era is highly intriguing to the Seahawks braintrust who are looking to win now.
Meanwhile, an NFL agent who represents an high profie player with the Oakland Raiders tells me there is a lot of chatter going around that the Raiders are prepared to make a play for Roethlisberger this week.
Oakland owns the No. 8 selection and were reportedly shopping elite cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha this off-season.
Asomugha, 28, is one of the few true shutdown corners in the game and is a model citizen off the field. However, he is due $16 million in 2010 and the Steelers don’t believe in paying cornerbacks top money, so it remains to be seen if they would have any interest in Asomugha, if the Raiders were to dangle him in a potential trade for Roethlisberger.
Two other potential teams that could give Roethlisberger a look leading up to the draft is the San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills.
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher has Chan Gailey’s ear and the Bills own the No. 9 selection which is attractive to the Steelers.
However, if the Steelers are to move Roethlisberger, they prefer to move him to the NFC.
Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc, reports that the Steelers would benefit from trading Roethlisberger to the Seahawks or 49ers.
“The Seahawks (Nos. 6 and 14) and 49ers (Nos. 13 and 17) each have two first-round picks and could conceivably package their earlier first-rounder with their 2011 first-round pick to acquire Roethlisberger, who would be an upgrade over fragile Seahawks starter Matt Hasselbeck or inconsistent 49ers QB Alex Smith, ” Weidl writes.
“Either team would instantly have the best quarterback in the NFC West and would maintain a first-round presence this year while Pittsburgh — which currently picks at No. 18 overall — would end up with two first-round selections this year and next. … The Steelers could then find a stopgap quarterback solution such as Byron Leftwich or Marc Bulger in 2010 and be set up nicely to use one of its 2011 first-rounders to obtain a top prospect such as Jake Locker (Washington), Andrew Luck (Stanford) or Ryan Mallett (Arkansas), either straight up or in a trade-up scenario.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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