Ben Roethlisberger is not going anywhere. If the Pittsburgh Steelers would show interest in trading their franchise quarterback, Roethlisberger said he sooner would retire than accept the move.
"I'd retire before I'd accept a trade," Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger's agent, Ryan Tollner, released a statement in response to the NFL.com report Sunday that claimed Roethlisberger was frustrated with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, the team's play-calling and his supporting cast.
"Ian Rapoport's apparent sources seem to be guessing what Ben feels about the Steelers and being traded," the statement read. "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."
The Steelers reportedly listened to trade offers regarding Roethlisberger last offseason and they expect to field offers again before the 2014 draft. This week's report that Roethlisberger wants out is without merit, he said.
"When it comes to wanting to go somewhere else or anything like that, that's completely unacceptable," Roethlisberger said Sunday.
Given their tight salary cap situation and many needs across the roster, many have suggested the Steelers would do more than listen if the right deal came to them.
Despite that, the team does not plan to trade the quarterback unless it can find an adequate replacement.
"Contrary to erroneous reports, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not explored trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and have no plans to do so," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement.
The one team most consistently linked to the denied rumors is the Arizona Cardinals. Roethlisberger, a three-time Super Bowl winner, played in current Cardinals coach Bruce Arians' offense until 2012, when Arians wasn't retained and the Steelers hired Haley.
"He's like a second son to me," Arians said in a radio interview Tuesday. "We play a lot of golf together -- he flew out here in March and we played golf and he lives around the corner from me down at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia. My children and he are very close."
But Arians said connecting the dots to the extent of reporting inaccurate trade demands is nonsense.
"He's going to be a Steeler for life," Arians said. "I don't think there's any doubt."