Steelers still open to trading Roethlisberger

Although the rumors have died down a bit over the last couple of days, the Steelers have not ruled out trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger if the right deal comes along.

Per a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers aren’t actively seeking a trade for Big Ben and won’t dump him the way they did receiver Santonio Holmes (who was recently traded to the Jets in exchange for a fifth rounder). But if the right trade came along, the Rooney family wouldn’t hesitate signing off on a deal.

On Tuesday, the Steelers acquired Byron Leftwich from the Buccaneers in exchange for a seventh round pick. The deal indicates that the Steelers are preparing to be without Big Ben for at least part of the 2010 season and it may even suggest that they’re ready to move on period. Leftwich was a shade above horrendous last year in Tampa, but he did play well in Bruce Arians’ offense in limited action two years ago. If Roethlisberger were dealt, Leftwich would compete for Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback job with Dennis Dixon, or perhaps even a rookie prospect.

It still seems unlikely that Big Ben will be dealt, but it’s clear that his on-field resume won’t save him in the eyes of the Rooneys. The fact that he’s embarrassed the franchise holds more weight than his two Super Bowl victories. Holmes was the team’s Super Bowl MVP two years ago and now he’s in New York. Roethlisberger will just have to hold his breath this weekend and await his fate in Pittsburgh.


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