Roethlisberger Denies He’s Lobbying Steelers To Draft A Tight End

Yesterday, NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported Ben Roethlisberger has made a push to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ front office to draft a tight end early in this year’s draft. Today, Roethlisberger refuted that report.

He put out the following statement to Mike Florio via Pro Football Talk. 

“The report of me lobbying to draft a tight end or pass catcher is wrong. Coaches and teammates know I love the guys we have and always believe we can win. I trust the organization to do their best selecting players to help us, and and every year they tell me generally the positions they are exploring, but I have not lobbied or demanded we add a tight end or pass catcher or any other position through the draft or free agency.”

Ultimately, this is much ado about nothing. I’m sure it’s no secret Roethlisberger would want more weapons like any quarterback would. And ultimately, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert are the final decision makers and the Steelers’ draft will likely be defensive focused.

That doesn’t rule out the possibility of a tight end. Ladarius Green is impossible to trust going forward, even if there is still hope for him to contribute in 2017. And if Martavis Bryant is not reinstated, or the league fails to make a decision by draft day, it would shift the needle to taking a receiver earlier than what most people expect.

It may be a bit surprising to see Roethlisberger so quickly and openly push back against the report. For what it’s worth, Kinkhabwala and Roethlisberger had a rocky relationship in 2016 and there’s probably some animosity between the two. This report and rebuttal certainly won’t help, not that any of that matters for all of us.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Danielsteelstrong81


  • steelersfan

    Definitely surprised to see Ben acknowledge this report without any prompting….it’s not something he typically does. Aditi has been stirring a little discord lately with her “insider” information. Her information may not be innacurate but it does feel like she tends to sensationalize information she’s given- I have no eveidence to back it but it’s a hunch. I’m not a big fan. Also this has nothing to do with anything, but her Hightower updates (which could very well have been accurate) cost me a lot of sleep haha. Couple that with the inaccurate info she stated about Brown and now this, I wouldn’t complain if NFL network sent her to cover some other team.

  • WreckIess

    This is why I don’t trust Kinkhabwala’s reports about much of anything. She loses more and more credibility with every report that gets refuted.

  • Steelers12

    we will never really know

  • The Chin

    Guys this one is all on me. I was the one who said Green was an earache from retirement and that Jesse James was pedestrian and that Johnson runs like his shoes are still in he box. She obviously overheard me and mistakenly took me for Ben. Common mistake.

  • John

    Have you seen the film on either Howard or the TE from Miami. Awesome. If either is there in round one, you have to take them. It does not matter what Ben says.

  • Jason

    Aditi is an example of why I can’t stand “insiders” anymore. Reporters have become TMZ report first and get the facts later. Just like her going on record about AB pouting on a play when it was clearly a different play. That said Ben could just as easily be lying.

  • steelersfan

    I agree

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Honestly I wish the rumors stopped. Don’t need them in my life.

  • steelersfan

    Not sure what the rocky relationship he’s had with Aditi involves but he definitely has had a strained relationship with the NFL Network in general, as it was Aditi’s partner in crime Ian Rappaport who stated that Ben was demanding a trade a few years ago. Those guys make Adam Schefter look good.

  • Sean Ralphio

    Its almost like the media makes up stuff, huh who would’ve guessed?

  • Shawn S.

    I think more than anything this is Ben sending a message to his guys that he has confidence in them.

  • francesco

    Can Aditi be re-assigned?

  • Alex Kozora

    That too. Didn’t help.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Okay, as Walter Sobchak would say…. “I’m calmer than you are… Calmer than you are.”

    As I said yesterday, I was going off of the assumption that what was reported was true. And I also witnessed MULTIPLE posters reply that they didn’t believe a word that comes out of this reporters mouth. And then some immediately come to her defense, claiming that she has credible sources, lives in the area, shops at Giant Eagle, eats at Primanti’s, drinks Yuengling, etc….

    Well, the horse just spoke, and called Aditi Kinkbmwahablaababla a liar. He called her a liar. Sooo…. I guess all I can say now is…. “I’m calmer than you are.”

    But could BEN be the one lying? I mean, there are a lot of in’s, a lot of out’s, a lot of what have you’s… So who knows. I don’t trust Jackie Treehorn though, that much I know. And also, one thing is perfectly clear, the Chinaman DID pee on the Dude’s rug. So at least we know that for sure. The rest, is clearly up for debate.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I said it before the NFL date to report on this, Goodell will deliberately keep this until after the draft.

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    Glad he did this. Back your guys in-house and trust the draft process.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Which is smart, until a 1st round draft pick walks through that door…

  • Alex Kozora

    And maybe he doesn’t come back at all…

  • capehouse

    lol Aditi is getting killed lately. Still, I believe the report. It’s not like Ben hasn’t done this before, but obviously it makes him look bad to the TEs we already have, so why not come out and refute the report to clear any locker room discord.

  • LucasY59

    smoke… meet …mirrors

  • StrengthOfVictory

    “I didn’t lobby for a tight end! YOU lobbied for a tight end!” (Ben’s most convincing voice)

  • LucasY59

    I dont like Aditi, but crapreport makes her look like one of the best media out there *but if she keeps making things up she might soon compete with Ian for being a worthless source of fake news

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Ben could be just trying to smooth things over, but every little bit of gossip true or untrue shouldn’t be treated as news. I’m just ready for the draft. All this is hella annoying.

  • Boots

    An unnamed source has told me that Ian Rapoport and Aditi Kinkhabwala are paid by Belicheat and Kraft to mic the Steelers offices but weren’t smart enough to hide them so the Rooney’s moved it into the guest bathroom and that’s why their “news” is funky and full of shyte!

  • LucasY59

    change the names to crapreport and kinkyblablablah

  • steelersfan

    Oh man. IBS symptoms starting up again. Thanks Alex.

  • LucasY59

    this might be part of why Ben is tempted to retire the media keeps getting more and more ridiculous, and Im glad he called it out quickly (even if there is a hint of truth to it)

  • Boots

    You can get away with saying anything if you use an unnamed source!

  • steelersfan

    Just to add some more fuel to the fire haha….in the original report where Aditi stated this information about Ben wanting a TE and Colbert loving Peppers, she also stated the Steelers were VERY (she loves to sensationalize) confident Bryant would be reinstated by next Monday. Take it for what it’s worth.

  • Boots

    You are entering a world of pain if you don’t mark it zero!

  • Jason

    That’s a bit dramatic but if anyone loves drama it’s #7. Lol

  • LucasY59

    yes as much as he wants to avoid the media he also secretly likes that they are talking about him

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    That’s pretty much my take as well.

    If he DID say it (privately) of course he’s going to deny it publicly.

    If he DIDN’T say it (privately) of course he’s going to deny it publicly.

    Who knows?

    I think the bigger question is… What is the current status of Martavis Bryant and LaDarius Green?

    If either of those guys are out this year, I have no problem spending a 1st or 2nd round pick on an elite receiving weapon. If they are both healthy and ready to go that changes our draft strategy slightly.

  • T3xassteelers

    Like for ‘Kinkbmwahablaababla’ 🙂

  • Alex Kozora

    To be fair, it’s not like Ben can’t be lying either.

  • PaeperCup

    It really is a circus out there.

  • Dan

    Absolutely. Don’t know if Ben did this on his own gumption or under direction of the FO; either way glad he said it. Teammates don’t wanna hear you want to bring in their replacements.

  • steelburg

    I agree and I feel the same exact way. If she is reporting something that has already been reported like when she repeated a report that said the Steelers were interested in Dre Kirkpatrick which I had already seen some where else I am cool believing that. But if a report comes directly from her first I am at the point where I won’t believe her.

  • Ace

    Can’t wait to hear his statement if they draft Njoku in the first. And I hope Aditi gets to ask him his thoughts.

  • PaeperCup

    Reporter: What do you think of this years tight end class?
    Ben: It’s a good class of TEs
    Reporter: Ben wants 5 TEs drafted, hates his teammates, hasn’t met with Haley.

  • Conserv_58

    It certainly is at a point where we fans can’t trust anything reporters say.

  • dany

    “hasn’t met with Haley.”

    haha nice blast from the past

  • Jacob

    Beware of Aditi’s sourcery.

  • LucasY59

    I agree, but also think she is guilty of trying to turn anything she can into news (but I guess that is kinda her job)

  • PaeperCup

    haha yeah. Talk about much ado about nothing.

  • Consistent

    Lol I believe it’s fair to question her report’s accuracy but I do wonder if someone inside the Steelers organization is feeding her this misinformation purposely knowing her reputation of rushing to report these things before someone else does

  • cencalsteeler

    Simple fix……drop the towels when she enters the locker room from here on out.

  • cencalsteeler

    I’m giving you an upvote just for taking the time to spell out her last name!

  • walter

    Yes exactly he doesnt want to hurt a certain TEs fragile phsyche. He has done everything possible to support him. But i predict green will not be there when Ben needs him.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Agreed. But it’s just the nature of the off-season. And an off-season of one of the preeminent franchises in football, coming off a bad loss, to a rival top-end franchise, with a HOF QB keeping us in the lurch for a while, and with a fan base that is growing increasingly frustrated with the coaching staff.

    As much as we here in the Nation want to discount much of it, we are a little bit soap-opera-ish, these last few seasons now.

  • Darth Blount 47

    It’s a league game, Smoky…

  • CP72

    Lol…earache. Good stuff.

  • ryan72384

    Lol..hasnt met with Haley

  • ryan72384

    Lol…hasnt met with Haley

  • Alex Kozora

    Just important to remember.

  • Steelers12

    You hit nail on head as always. Summer so stories coming from everywhere

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Their relationship would be better if she either reported the truth.

  • AustinTxStillerFan


  • Ken Krampert

    Aditi Kinkhabwhateva is the CNN of football news……fake!!!!!

  • HiVul

    This report didn’t get refuted just because Ben denied it.

  • HiVul

    People just can’t wait to call anything they don’t like “fake news.” Ben denies it so that automatically means it isn’t true. Lol okay. Because Ben didn’t lobby for a tall receiver when they drafted MB, right?

  • John Pennington

    Who really cares if Ben ask for a tightend he is not wrong at all the steelers need one.Get rid of the 20 million dollar mistake who cant stay healthy cant practice and one hit away from missing games.Get a tightend who can every week not someone we wish he can play every week.Waste of a roster spot and money.

  • RL

    Aditi breaks more stories than anyone of late but not certain that a single story has been correct yet. Starting to feel like Aditi is Aditi’s best unnamed source.

  • Roger G

    “That’s April talk”
    – M. Tomlin

  • mokhkw

    It’s not just Adidi, between the end of the Pro days and the draft we always get a lot of BS from reporters and bloggers.

  • Roger G

    Meanwhile Tom Brady is somewhere holed up watching game tape and taking notes.

  • Jeff Burton

    The Steelers need to do for Offense this year what they did of Defense, last. All of our eggs are in the Big Ben, Brown and Bell basket and if we lose any of them the team isn’t competitive. The Steelers need to draft a Running Back and Wide Receiver in the early rounds. And George Kittle.

  • Brenton deed

    Even if she was right you’ve got to think her “insider” status has been rescinded.

  • Conserv_58

    Getting Martavis back is akin to them taking the best WR in the draft.

  • Conserv_58

    It makes one wonder if she has an alternate agenda. I know that, for me, she has very little credibility.

  • Conserv_58

    Then again, ESPN and ABC are owned by the Disney Corporation.

  • JB Burgess

    Fake news

  • Ray Powell

    I didn’t believe the ‘Steelers will take the best available DB’ stuff or any of that report. Chances are that the Steelers haven’t even finalized their draft board yet, so even Kevin Colbert doesn’t know for sure. I can see why Ben has refuted this statement as he doesn’t want to damage his relationship with his existing tight ends. Oh, and ‘Ladarius Green is impossible to trust going forward’ is an opinion, not a fact. You may find it impossible, but I prefer to leave it to the Steelers medical staff.

  • Ray Powell

    Yes it did, look up the meaning of the word ‘refute’.

  • pittfan

    She’s like the rest, they have to have something to say and end up talking out of their butts.
    She made up that story about AB pouting in the end zone.

  • pittfan

    Kikiamawatu is the Baghdad bob of Steeler news

  • RL

    So…then why is she still in a journalistic role? Manufacturing sources to support opinions kinda goes against journalism 101 ethics I would imagine. Even our fine bloggers Dave and Dave don’t go this far in forwarding their opinions. This is even worse than Shelly ‘spellcheck’ Anderson.

  • HiVul

    You don’t get it bud.

  • RickM

    I have little faith in the woman’s tweets after the mistake about Brown not trying. Saying, ‘oh sorry I just got the play wrong’ shows me a real lack of attention to detail. Saying a player is unhappy not getting the ball is a pretty significant accusation, so if you make it you naturally make sure your video evidence corroborates it. Anyone’s entitled to a mistake, but I just don’t see her a reliable source right now.