Cooler heads likely to prevail
A 2-4 game suspension for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appears likely but questions remain whether the Steelers are ready to move forward with their franchise quarterback.
The Rooney’s and other high ranking officials are disgusted by the way star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has conducted himself off the field. Is the frustration reaching the boiling point where the team would explore trading Roethlisberger?
It is expected that the Steelers will move forward with Roethlisberger, suspend him for a few games, let him take his punishment and put the situation behind both sides.
However, ownership is so furious by the situation that internal discussions have happened on more than one occasion in the past week surrounding the possibility of exploring Roethlisberger’s trade value with NFC teams.
The Steelers have not been engaged in trade talks with any teams or have put Roethlisberger on the trade block but it’s been discussed internally which says a lot.
Agents around the league I’ve spoken with hear the St. Louis Rams are sold on Sam Bradford and would have no interest in moving their first round pick for Roethlisberger as recently speculated but teams such as Seattle and San Francisco would be very much in on Roethlisberger.
Despite the PR hit from even it’s own fan base, cooler heads through the likes of top decision makers Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin will likely prevail in the end and the Steelers won’t cut ties with Roethlisberger.
Trading a franchise quarterback of Roethlisberger’s caliber will set the franchise back for years but what is scary is the faith that the team has in third year quarterback Dennis Dixon who has yet to even prove to be a capable backup.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently noted during a radio appearance that Dixon has been tabbed as the Steelers “next man” at the quarterback position.
While the Steelers don’t believe Dixon would ever fill Roethlisberger’s shoes, they have been so pleased with Dixon’s progression that they view him as a starter in the league that would keep the Steelers competitive.
The team is extremely high on Dixon who has started just one career game (@ BAL 12-26, 145 yds, 1TD-1INT) due to injuries to Roethlisberger and Charlie Batch in week 12.
Dixon did not earn the No. 2 quarterback job to open the 2009 season after a mediocre training camp.