Report: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Wants Team To Match Emmanuel Sanders Offer Sheet

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports Friday on Twitter that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is lobbying the front office and head coach Mike Tomlin hard to match the one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet that restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders signed with the New England Patriots.

You can certainly understand why Roethlisberger is lobbying hard, as not only has he lost wide receiver Mike Wallace this offseason, he could now be a few days away from losing Sanders as well. This can\’t make the Steelers quarterback happy one bit, but his lobbying will not sway the ultimate decision.

Roethlisberger has lobbied for other things in the past, such as a tall wide receiver, with nothing to show for that effort. Earlier in the day it was reported that the Steelers were split 50/50 in the organization as to whether or not to retain Sanders for at least one more season by matching the offer sheet, which would leave the team with right around $750,000 in salary cap space.

Should the Steelers not match the Patriots offer sheet, Roethlisberger will be left with Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, Plaxico Burress and a few other inexperienced wide receivers to throw to next season. The Steelers are, however, expected to draft at least one wide receiver in the upcoming draft and possibly even two.

  • grw1960

    Hopkins & Boyce
    Woods & Boyce
    Allen & Boyce.
    Hunter & Harper

  • costanza2k1

    Bring him back so he can watch Ben complain about the offense all year? What’s the point…

  • SteelerDave

    I agree with PeeWee Parker, we should snag Bailey and Woods in the draft if we do not match the offer sheet.

  • TsarPepe

    Now we know why the decision is 50/50. The first 50 is Ben, the other 50 is the Steelers ownership.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Austin & Bailey
    Woods & Bailey

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Stedman Bailey! Mr. Red Zone!

  • Superdriller316

    I’m not big on short WR’s, but if Austin and Bailey put up 70 receiving TD’s between the two of them in 3 years at WV. WOW, that beats the heck out of 1 from Sanders.

  • $19122620

    Patterson & Boyce, haha!

    I was not lobbying for Patterson really at any point in the draft process but if they were to let Sanders walk I actually hope they draft him if he is there at 17. They could then draft Boyce in the 4th. They could address LB and S and RB with their 2nd round and two 3rd round picks. And I am with you I really like Boyce. I actually think he is a great sleeper WR in this draft.

  • Superdriller316

    If Ben wants to give up the 2.5 million out of his contract, then lets do it.

  • hergieburbur

    I am pretty sure Ben lost most of his clout with the off-field antics.

  • hergieburbur

    Because college is anything like Pros. Sweed put up more TDs in one game at Texas than his whole NFL career… 🙂

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Like this was a surprise

  • zyzak

    Haley like big ball catchers. Haley is running the show

  • Superdriller316

    Not everyone can make it at the next level. Sometimes you roll the dice and crap out. Just wasn’t meant to be.

  • Maurice_hill_district


  • Jollyrob68

    At first I said no to Patterson but after listening to path to the draft I think he’d be a smart pick with Hayle & Mann coaching him up. I think they can move back to 21-23 and get a starting Wr. at 17 they’ll get Patterson

  • Jollyrob68

    If Sanders won’t sign a longterm deal by Saturday night then take the pick.

  • hergieburbur

    That was partly my point, but mostly the Sweed thing was a tongue in cheek lamentation.

  • hergieburbur

    Patterson concerns me. 28% of his yards last year were against crappy Troy, and 7 out of 12 games he had 53 yards or less. He has the physical tools, but I don’t think he is worth 17. I don’t think he is the type of WR they look at in the first.

  • nbaballer1

    I’m guessing that you like Boyce?

  • David Edward

    No surprise there. Ben really wasn’t a fan of Haley’s system either and he already lost one ally in Wallace and will likely lose another in Sanders. Brown is more of a company guy who goes with the system regardless. With Wallace, Brown, and Sanders in the huddle, he knew he could call or audible to some of Arians plays in crunch time and they knew what to do. Without Wallace and Sanders, Ben fears he won’t be able to improvise like that anymore. Of course this is speculation on my part..but Ben basically said that in his own words last season.

  • spencer

    If Sanders can’t be signed long term, let him go and take the thid round pick. We could draft another player in the 3rd or package it too move up. Ben needs to focus on his own performance ie quicker release, better game management and master Haley’s system so he can get a nice extension next year.

  • Crazy Bone

    I don’t blame Ben one bit. I don’t see other teams with franchise QB letting all the best offensive players leave. Two quality WR gone, best RB gone, starting LT gone. I don’t see the Pats doing that to Brady or the Giants doing that to Manning. He should be pissed. The team has managed the salary cap poorly and ended up giving a lot of money to 30 something players while letting young players leave

  • Michael Pearce

    Gotta feel for Ben as he is not gonna have much to throw to if we lose Saunders too, but as an organization the best option maybe to take the third round pick and draft a WR with it so that we dont go through this all over next year. Its highly unlikely the Steelers will give him a longer term contract and its also unlikely Saunders would take one either seeing he will be unrestricted next year and the Steelers have many other bigger contracts to redoo. Is it worth it to resign him for one year and have nothing to show for it next year?

  • With all due respect, shut-up, Ben!

  • Intropy

    I think this is just about Roethlisberger being a good teammate. Right now, to him, Sanders is his teammate, so he sticks up for him. This isn’t the first time. He did the same at least for Wallace and Starks. He said “Who’s laughing now, o-line?” during the Lombardi presentation when he had to know his o-line had been playing poorly. I’m sure there have been plenty of others. This is just how Ben treats his teammates.

  • SteelerCop

    When has an offense coordinator even ran the show in the Burgh? If they try…they always get booted! Why do you think the STEELERS always have the same ole boring offense…because they dont want to play their players leaving after the first contract…they want at least two contacts out of them for a cheap price! Everytime an OC tried to open it up…they got bounced! Haley is a pass first coordinator…but now all of a sudden he is run first…NO….front offense told him to do that. They only bring in OC’s that will run their system. Smart Football from a front office perspective…but Bad News for the skill players, coaches, and FANS!

  • grw1960

    I like Baileyit is just he probably will go no later than the 4th round. With all the Steelers needs ,I don’t see them taking a 2nd receiver before the 5th round.
    Boyce has Kick return skills plus speed, has an injury could fall one round should go in the 5th or 6th

  • grw1960

    Me too
    46 catches , 700plus yards in 2012, does not screem 1st round to me

  • grw1960

    Patterson to me is a gamble. normally the Steelers don’t gamble in the 1st round . 46 catches , 700plus yards in 2012, does not scream 1st round to me
    I do like Bailey.

    Boyce is a gamble too , agreed he is a sleeper and injured. I like Boyce because he is bigger and faster than Bailey and has kick return skills.
    , but mostly because he may still be available in a later round than Bailey

  • If Sanders does indeed leave, this gives the Steelers so many options to actually work with. I still would rather them take Cooper at 17 if he is still there to shore up the Interior O-line because the run game HAS to get moving this year for Ben to be successful with the play action. If they want Hopkins bad enough but do not think he will drop to their pick in the second, then they have that extra pick in the 3rd to trade up and snag him. The same can be said for Bailey in the 3rd or a Safety. I just think this extra pick and a little extra cap room makes them so much more Flexible in what they can do as far as getting value players for the future.

  • SteelSpine

    Why would a QB’s response to re-sign a veteran receiver be a surprise?
    – As if a QB would say “Don’t re-sign our veteran receivers”(?), a QB wouldn’t say something that politically incorrect knowing it would cause tension in locker room.
    – In the past when Ben was asked about any/every receiver who had played for the Steelers, didn’t Ben say he would like the FO to re-sign the receiver?
    So it’s not news. Just a Duh.

  • JC

    Ben needs to be honest with himself and realize this team is in a transition year and needs to rebuild. As a competitor you always want to win a championship, but the reality is that they aren’t going to compete for the Super Bowl with or without Sanders. Take the pick and move on! Hopefully Colbert and Tomlin don’t blow this draft like they’ve done in the past 3 draft classes.

  • If a team loses a RFA and gets a pick from another team, are they still eligible for a comp pick the following year for losing a free agent? It would seem unlikely that the rules are written that way, but I just don’t know. Not a lot of RFAs have been signed away for me to have seen this situation before.

  • $19122620

    No, but it is more about his 1,858 all purpose yards and 10 TDs that scream play maker. There is no doubt that in a sense he is raw to a degree, but as Greg Cosell stated Patterson has “open field instincts and movement” that cannot be taught to go along with his size speed combo. I think the above warrants top 15-20 consideration.

  • take a good look at our roster and tell us again how great the front office is doing.

  • David Edward

    They don’t receive a comp pick for an RFA. However, the Steelers are already set up to receive some decent comp picks due to their losses of Wallace, Lewis, Mendenhall, Allen, and Mundy…with only Gradkowski as an addition. It’s based the net outflow of UFAs and their estimated value. So at the moment, the net outflow is 4. If I had to guess, I’d say maybe they will get a 3, 4, 6, and 7. Players that were cut don’t count…Colon, Spaeth, and Gay.

  • JC

    I agree. Start the rebuilding process now. Even if they sign him to a 1 year deal, it’ll just be a distraction in the locker room again like it was with Wallace. They also get compensatory picks next year to fill some more needs.

  • Michael Briscoe

    People, understand 1 year 2.5 for a questionable wr? That’s not gonna happen we can not only sign Bradshaw but Breaston and draft Robert Woods so I must say bye bye Sanders

  • steeltown

    Funny thing is.. if they let Sanders walk then they’ll probably draft more than one WR and chances are one of them will be a big bodied, tall WR… which is what Ben has been “lobbying” for yrs now and what he has wanted all along

  • shaad

    Haley was run first in KC too

  • steeltown

    So many options through the first 3 or 4 Rds, really the entire draft is wide open with the needs we have for Offensive weapons and depth on the OLine and Defense

    This draft and the next will really go along way in us potentially getting back to the big game. Ben is only 31yrs old and will most likely get an extension in this next offseason. A good draft this year and the fact that we’ll have extra comp picks in next yrs draft should hopefully help retool this Team with some offensive weapons and future defensive starters

  • Ahmad

    He may be lobbying hard, but I’m willing to bet he ain’t offered to cut some of his own salary to keep Sanders.

  • hergieburbur

    They use AB in that playmaker role. They need a solid WR, not an athlete.

  • hergieburbur

    Love the down vote. Because of course what I said was so out there…

  • rizzo29

    Yeah they can keep Sanders and draft a big bodied wr and focus on the many other area,s they need

  • JC

    You’re absolutely right. Lets just hope they draft well this year and next. They can’t afford to miss on prospects like they’ve done the past 3 seasons.

  • Pete

    Duh, yeah, of course Ben wants them to match the Patriots offer rather than have to get into sync with brand new receivers. The Steelers already knew what they would do in this situation. Doesn’t look good that Sanders will be retained.

  • mokhkw

    We have no $s to sign Sanders to an extension this year or( at this stage) next year either.

  • steeltown

    Agreed, but they might draft two WR’s regardless.. Cotchery and Burress might not even be on the Team after 2013

  • steeltown

    I agree somewhat.. sadly we may never know how good Spence could’ve been.. and we cant gauge how good DeCastro, Adams or Ta’amu will be just yet.. Dwyer, Beachum and Paulson seem like solid picks for the being 6th-7th Rders…. Worilds, Cam Heyward and Cortez Allen havent been given the reins yet.. and I think we all know how good Pouncey and A.Brown have been. There were some misses, that’s for sure, but like I said overall we still cant gauge just how good the last couple drafts have been, not yet, after this season we’ll know alittle more

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Crazy Bone….it’s called “rebuilding” and it happens. Oh, and who was the “best” RB gone? I’d LOVE to know who the good one was who go away because Mendy just plain sucked. Starting LT is gone because he was mediocre and wanted way too much money for an older lineman. Yes, the Pats are doing that to Brady. Did Welker stay in NE? No. Sure they got other guys but so will we. He shouldn’t be pissed. He’s getting paid mighty well. He should be hoping that, for once, the FO puts a decent offensive line in front of him with all of their draft picks. The rest will fall into place.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Yes, rebuilding sucks but it has to happen sometime. Plus, this last season the coaches got a real good look (what with all of the injuries) at a lot of guys who otherwise would have been buried deep on the bench so they’re not walking blind with these offseason moves. Rest assured they have a plan albeit possibly a long one that will take time to unfold. We’re one good offensive line away from curing a lot of ills.

  • SteelSpine

    Today Bouchette gave a possible reason why Steelers havnt already sent Sanders onto his way to NewEngland. He said “letting Sanders go is almost a no-brainer, yet other factors could be at work here, including a coaching staff that went 8-8 last season might be worried another year out of the playoffs could erode job security.”

    What matters isn’t what we think, it’s what Steeler coaches think. Coaches prefer guys who already know the playbook, coaches stick with mediocre players too long because those players know the calls. Haley should be on thin ice this year & our new WR coach is considered expendable, so their priority could be to make sure they don’t go 7-9 this year.

  • $19122620

    Yeah, I disagree that Patterson is just an athlete and can’t be a solid WR in the NFL. So does the guy that recruited him.

    Former Tennessee recruiting coordinator Darin Hinshaw touted Cordarrelle Patterson as a superior pro prospect to fellow former Vols wide receivers Justin Hunter and Da’Rick Rogers.

    Hinshaw, now Cincinnati’s QBs coach, recruited all three players. “He’s the best I’ve ever seen with the ball in his hands,” Hinshaw said of Patterson. “He can make people miss, explode and get vertical. He made numerous people in the SEC look stupid who will be playing in the NFL, and I believe he’ll do the same at the next level. He’s not a one-year wonder. He’s a 15-year wonder in the NFL.”

    15 years may not be reasonable but his point is he believes he can be a successful WR in the NFL.

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  • hergieburbur

    “Yeah, I disagree that Patterson is just an athlete and can’t be a solid WR in the NFL. So does the guy that recruited him.”

    Of course he does, he has to defend his decision. Just as many experts saw that Patterson is a big risk. Especially in a WR heavy draft, don’t look for the Steelers to pick that type of guy.

  • hergieburbur

    Tomlin is under pressure as well. Not “might lose his job” pressure, the Steelers don’t work that way, but “might lose his influence/clout” pressure and they all need to have a better showing this seasons. Tough to do with an arguably less talented/experienced team.

  • hergieburbur

    Burress won’t be. I hope they are able to keep Cotch. Depends on the year he has though and the salary he can pull next year.

  • steeltown


  • $19122620

    Well, it’s not just former Tennessee recruiting coordinator that like what they see in Patterson, man. It is Mayock, Cosell and other draftniks. You act like the majority of scouts are down on him. There is a reason Patterson is in the first round of every mock draft among the “experts.” I am not saying that he is going to be in the league of A. Green and J. Jones but simply that his overall skill set, and size speed combo warrants a 1st round pick. If you don’t agree that is fine but you are clearly in the minority on your analysis.

    Now that Steelers matched NE offer I am no longer pulling for them to draft him. When they looked like they were going to lose Sanders that is when I liked the idea of drafting Patterson.

  • hergieburbur

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not at all saying he is not worth a first round pick to someone. I am saying he is not worth a first round pick FOR US. Look at our draft profile, we don’t draft WRs as raw as him in the first just based on athleticism. We look for guys like that in the 3rd or later.

  • $19122620

    Well, I think it is pretty much irrelevant now because the only way I could potentially foresee them drafting him is when they they possibly were going to have a second 3rd pick.

  • hergieburbur

    I agree, I don’t see them going WR before round three at all now.