Whiz on Big Ben rumors

Posted by Darren Urban on April 22, 2010 – 9:39 am

Given the issues of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and all the reports he might get traded, I suppose it’s no surprise to see the Cardinals linked to at least a phone call to the Steelers, which ESPN’s John Clayton did this morning on Sports 620 KTAR. Clayton said the Cards “made communication” with the Steelers about Roethlisberger.

I managed to catch up with coach Ken Whisenhunt to ask him to comment, which is never easy in this case because to talk about a player under contract with another team — even if it is to deny interest — could technically be considered tampering (and why Whisenhunt has delicately maneuvered around the subject the few previous times he has been asked about the subject).

“It seems like you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that hasn’t been linked to (Roethlisberger interest),” Whisenhunt said. “At this time of year there’s no shortage of information and misinformation flying around; who teams are interested in drafting, who they’re not, who’s gonna be traded, etc. From our standpoint, it doesn’t seem to make sense to publicly comment on which rumors are fact and which are fiction but I can tell you there’s a fair amount of each.”

That was as specific as Whiz wanted to get. But as I have noted to many fans over the last couple of days before this report even surfaced, bringing Big Ben to Arizona makes little sense. Forget the price it would cost in terms of draft picks. The baggage itself is troubling. I can’t see the Steelers trading Roethlisberger if this incident — as bad as it has been — was all there was. If the Cards weren’t going to chase Donovan McNabb (who is squeaky clean) why Roethlisberger?

You worry about what else is there. As I have mentioned when teams trade good young players — the Ravens trying to trade T Jared Gaither, for instance, the Chargers dumping CB Antonio Cromartie earlier this offseason, the Steelers trading WR Santonio Holmes — it raises red flags. Either the player isn’t quite the player everyone thinks he is, or there are off-field issues. Either way, a team needs to be careful. Otherwise, why would the players be traded in the first place?

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