Even with no official word from anybody, it's already been a big day for Big Ben news.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, your one-stop-shop for all things Roethlisberger rumor, says that the Steelers are actively contacting teams with draft picks in the top 10, and that one team is considering trading for Roethlisberger.
Who might that team be? And might we be getting ahead of ourselves if we tried to identify them? Absolutely. But let's do it anyway, because it's Wednesday afternoon, and what else are we going to do? The top 10 looks like this:
1. St. Louis Rams
2. Detroit Lions
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Washington Redskins
5. Kansas City Chiefs
6. Seattle Seahawks
7. Cleveland Browns
8. Oakland Raiders
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
Four of those teams can be eliminated immediately: The Lions, because they've got young buck Matthew Stafford(notes); the Redskins, because they just traded for Donovan McNabb(notes); the Chiefs, because they've made a pretty heavy financial investment in Matt Cassell; and the Browns, because there's just no way in hell the Steelers are trading Roethlisberger to their closest and most bitter rival.
Yes, there's already been a precedent set with the Eagles trading McNabb within their division, but Roethlisberger to Cleveland would be even crazier. I'm sure Cleveland wouldn't mind, as they're definitely QB-needy, and they're also Ben's hometown team, but I just can't see the Steelers doing it. The heads of everyone in Pittsburgh would simultaneously explode.
That leaves six teams potentially considering Roethlisberger: the Rams, Bucs, Seahawks, Raiders, Bills, Jaguars. The Seahawks and Bucs also have young quarterbacks they like in Charlie Whitehurst(notes) and Josh Freeman(notes), respectively, but I don't believe either team is so invested in those guys that they'd immediately turn down a shot to land a superstar. So I'm leaving them in the mix, for now.
The other question is, which team wouldn't mind taking the PR hit? The Jaguars in particular have spoken publicly about their desire to employ only high-character guys, and at the moment, Roethlisberger is not that (or, at the very least, he isn't perceived as that). So the Jags seem unlikely, and with David Garrard(notes), they're not in nearly as bad a shape at QB as teams like the Rams, Raiders or Bills.
But it's impossible to know which teams would or wouldn't be willing to deal the negative publicity, which would absolutely come. Each team's got to measure for themselves the benefits vs. the cost.
One team fits all scenarios perfectly, and that is, of course, the Oakland Raiders. Historically, they've had no fear of taking on players with checkered pasts, and they definitely need a quarterback. Al Davis loves headlines, he loves quarterbacks with big arms, and he'd love to make the Raiders relevant again. A trade for Ben Roethlisberger(notes) gets him all three, immediately.
If I had to make a list, Oakland is where I'd start. After that, maybe Buffalo, and then St. Louis.
What about you? If you're a fan of a team with a top 10 pick, I'd love for you to hit up the comments section with your feelings on your team potentially trading for Ben Roethlisberger. It could be closer to reality than you think.
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