Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Ben and the top 10
It's been reported the Steelers are willing to rid themselves of 28-year old, two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He can be had, so it has been said, for a top-10 pick.

The Browns don't have a top-flight quarterback, but they do own such a pick: a No. 7.

Could the Browns trade for Roethlisberger?


Should they?

God, no.

One can't doubt Roethlisberger's talent, his guts on the field, his ability to win. One also can't doubt that when it comes to judgement, Roethlisberger has about as much as a squirrel that crosses a four lane highway.

Riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Acting irresponsibly at college bars.

Having a really bad haircut.

Roethlisberger is no longer a 22-year old phenom, as he was at Miami University. He's a Super Bowl winning quarterback, a six-year veteran.

He should be a leader in the locker room and in the community. He isn't. His actions prove it.

Most teams in the top 10 would love to have a QB with the resume of Big Ben. But acquiring him for a high draft pick would be a big gamble.

What message would it send not only the fans, but the community. A player whose actions were deemed so inappropriate by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he slapped a stronger-than-steroids ban on the guy.

A player who obviously has not matured, and who, if traded, likely will be sent a message that acting the way he did cost him only a city and a third-of-the year paycheck.

No, as a Browns fan, I don't want this guy as the face of my team.

It should be mentioned that a trade to a division rival is rare, but possible, as the Eagles and Redskins showed this offseason.

Roethlisberger, it has to be said, plays for one of the best run and most talented franchises in professional sports. Is he a product of their system? I don't think so. But even so, he has taken a physical pounding in recent years, and some quarterbacks start to lose it a little as they creep closer to 30.

Having said all that, I still expect a top-10 drafting team to take the bait tomorrow. We shall see.



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