The Pittsburgh Steelers are 3-6 and going nowhere fast, could they make a bold move in rebooting their proud franchise and trade Ben Roethlisberger?
There will no doubt be some changes in the organization barring a miracle. What would those changes be?
Todd Haley will no doubt be fired as Steelers offensive coordinator. He clashes constantly with Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh fans hate him there. Mike Tomlin may be in danger, but the Rooney family has patience with coaches. He will likely be given a reprieve for now. An interesting rumor reported this week is that Roethlisberger wants out of Pittsburgh. Normally, a team would be insane to trade a franchise QB like Big Ben, but the Steelers are in a rare situation where that may be something for General Manager Kevin Colbert to consider.
The once-proud and vaunted defense has regressed, and is a shell of their former selves, the offense is disjointed and there are not enough weapons for Roethlisberger to utilize. The offensive line is bad as well. There are simply too many issues for the Steelers to be contenders. A full-blown rebuild may be what is needed for the team. If a trade is consummated, where would the best fit be? There is only one fit for a move of this magnitude. It would be the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals are coached by Bruce Arians, the former offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger loves Arians and understands his scheme to a “t.” The transition would be seamless. There are more weapons for him to use in Arizona. He would have Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Roberts as his top wide receivers. There is an emerging running back named Andre Ellington, the Arizona offensive line is improving, and their defense is vastly improved from a year ago.
The only thing that is holding the Cardinals back is the mediocre play of Carson Palmer. It is a move that would give stability at a position in flux ever since the retirement of Kurt Warner. The package needed to get Roethlisberger would essentially be an all-in move by GM Steve Keim. The Cardinals are ready to compete and need the final piece of the puzzle.
The Steelers need to start rebuilding. It would take at least two first-round picks and a second or a third-rounder to get the deal done. The picks that they would get in a hypothetical deal are good building-blocks. Colbert is a good evaluator of talent and would hit on most of the picks. It would have to include a new franchise QB. The class in the 2014 draft is good enough to make the move.
For Pittsburgh and Arizona, both teams would get what they want and need.
If there is a doubt that the team should do this, history has bitten the Steelers in this situation before. The 1983 draft, Dan Marino–a former prep standout at Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic and later the University of Pittsburgh–could have been the successor to replace Terry Bradshaw. The team opted to keep Bradshaw and draft Gabriel Rivera.
It bit them bad and it took years to recover.
Roethlisberger is still in his prime. The Steelers should consider rebooting the team so that they can get a good package for him. It would give them a youth movement that they desperately need and for Roethlisberger, he could move on and both sides would come out better.
Never say never in football, anything can and will happen.