You knew that the Ben Roethlisberger trade story wasn't going to go away after Sunday, right? Now, in an attempt to add fuel to a non-fire, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has chimed in with his own conspiracy theory related to the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.
Here’s an idea. What if the Steelers leaked the report to create an offseason market for Roethlisberger, in the event the Steelers need a viable Plan B to extending his contract?
What if? Really?
Sure, with the Steelers still very much mathematically alive this season, the team thought it would be the perfect time to cause a distraction prior to a game as it relates to contract talks that won't even begin to take place until February at the earliest. That makes a ton of sense.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network still stands behind his flimsy "sources tell me" story and as a result Roethlisberger, his agent and the Steelers have all had a giant group hug.
Look, the Steelers will certainly do their best to extend Roethlisberger this coming offseason, but if the two sides fail to come to some sort of an extension agreement, the Steelers still won't trade him. Roethlisberger is under contract through the 2015 season and if they are unable to lower his 2014 cap number via a contract extension, they'll just have to find a way to work around it.
Eight quarterbacks have won the last 12 Super Bowls and Roethlisberger has won two of them and played in three of them. This is a quarterback driven league and the Steelers know good and well that they could go another 25 years without another championship as soon as Roethlisberger's time in Pittsburgh is done.
Regardless of the draft picks they might receive for Roethlisberger via a trade, those draft picks do not guarantee that Teddy Bridgewater or Marcus Mariota will be Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.
Is Roethlisberger frustrated with the way the season has gone so far? Absolutely, he even said as much during his Sunday post-game interview. However, he also said on Monday in an interview that he'd likely call it quits before accepting a trade.
"I’d retire before I’d accept a trade," Roethlisberger said Monday, via Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
We of course will have to wait and see how all of this plays out, but I am not buying any of what Rapoport reported or any of Florio's "what ifs".
What's my defense? The Chewbacca defense, of course. None of this makes sense.