Ben Strongly Denies 'Trade' Report
After Sunday’s 23-10 Steelers victory, after the “erroneous” report that he would ask to be traded, Ben Roethlisberger already was wearing another uniform in the locker room.
He wore a camouflage U.S. Army shirt in honor of Veterans’ Day. He did not, however, camouflage his feelings about the report on NFL.com and the NFL Network.
“It is one of the most BS stories that I’ve ever heard of,’’ the 31-year-old quarterback said. “I’ve always said that I want to be a Steeler for life. I love it here. I’m happy here. I don’t want to go anywhere. No one in my family, our camp, agents, no one has ever said anything about that. Wherever this was made up from is totally false.”
Here is what was reported on the NFL Network by two if its reporters, as sent to me by the network:
Ian Rapoport: “I’m told Ben Roethlisberger is not happy; incredibly frustrated with the direction the franchise is headed. He’s frustrated with the coaches and not just Todd Haley, which is why you should expect wholesale offensive changes in the offseason. But Steelers sources also tell me to expect Roethlisberger to ask them in the offseason to explore possible trade options. I’m told the Steelers did field trade offers for Big Ben last offseason; they are expected to do so this offseason. I asked this Steelers source would they actually trade their franchise quarterback and the response I got was no, unless we could replace him with a franchise quarterback. He does have this looming contract issue.”
Mike Silver: “I am told Ben Roethlisberger wants to finish his career as a member of the Steelers. However, if he does come to the point where the team does want to trade him, keep an eye on the Arizona Cardinals. His former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, the coach there, they love him there. They would be highly motivated to try and go get him.”
Rapoport’s words specifically set off a stream of reaction in and around Pittsburgh and also drew responses from Steelers president Art Rooney II and Roethlisberger’s agent, Ryan Tollner.
Here is what Rooney had to say in a statement:
“Contrary to erroneous reports, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not explored trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and have no plans to do so.’’
Here is what Tollner said on Twitter:
“Ian Rapoport’s apparent sources seem to be guessing what Ben feels about the Steelers and being traded. This is completely wrong and inaccurate. Ben has always said he wants to play his entire career for the Steelers, and his roots are set firmly in Pittsburgh. He has a lot left in the tank and is 100 percent committed to winning more championships with the Steelers.’’
But then, nobody denied the part about how we “should expect wholesale offensive changes in the offseason.’’