Steelers Reportedly Shopping Big Ben For a Top-10 Draft Pick
The first question on hand -- will they actually trade him? -- is easily answerable: yes, yes they will. Of course, Pittsburgh would need to receive legitimate compensation in return; Roethlisberger's off-field issues are clearly a complete nightmare for the Steelers front office, but that doesn't mean they can just sling him for 50 cents on the dollar. After all, he has won a few games since being drafted.
Additionally, Steelers fans, based on the knee-jerk reaction of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette poll, are actually pretty willing to move Big Ben -- whether they simply disapprove of someone with his off-field record, or 60 percent of the folks who've voted are simply in "last-straw" mode is hard to tell. But if more than half of Pittsburgh's fan base wants him gone and state so in a democratic fashion, it's impossible to think the front office won't at least recognize that.
The other question -- who would take him? -- is a little harder to answer. The Redskins (following the acquisition of Donovan McNabb), the Rams (Sam Bradford at No. 1 overall seems, um, "safer"), the Chiefs (Matt Cassel on the books) and the Lions (Matt Stafford) are clearly uninterested.
That leaves Buffalo, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Seattle and Tampa Bay as possible suitors for Roethlisberger. You can possibly scratch Seattle and Jacksonville because of incumbent quarterbacks, as well as Tampa Bay because Josh Freeman is most likely the future, and go ahead and punt on Cleveland since they're in the same division. Buffalo isn't really a good fit either, given his looming suspension and off-field problems, so that leaves ... oh, that's right -- the Oakland Raiders do have a top-10 pick.
And really, there's no better fit for Roethlisberger, if the Steelers are absolutely determined to move him. Al Davis has no issue taking on "problem children," he desperately needs a quarterback to get JaMarcus Russell as far away from the football as possible, and Ben's ability to succeed without a strong offensive line has already been proven.
The No. 7 overall pick won't solve the Steelers' pressing needs, but it would allow them an opportunity to land an elite offensive lineman or defensive back early and then potentially address quarterback later in the round (Colt McCoy anyone?). Not to say doing that will lock them into the playoffs, or even make the team better right away, but it's an option, and that's only talking about receiving the bare minimum in bounty from a trade involving Al Davis.
It's probably a stretch to see it happening, but given the parties involved and the Steelers' potential need to dump Ben, there's nothing to say that something won't happen.