re: NFL Thread: RAVENS SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS
I'm not sure how many Steeler fans will agree with what I am about to say, but I am going to go out, and say it.
First, we need to trade Ben Roethlisberger. We don't need a new head coach, nor a new offensive coordinator. We have the best defense in the league with a $100 million QB who can't seem to get on the same elite level as either Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, or even rookie Andrew Luck. As a long time supporter of Ben Roethlisberger I feel as though he isn't a field general. He is an exceptional play maker who can improvise. However, there is a price to pay when you are that type of QB. As a fan of this team, it's no secret how many games this man has missed his whole career. Out of a possible 144 regular season games he has played 126. Which isn't bad, but when you take in to how many times he has fumbled, and has been picked off it comes to 153 turnovers. That's more than 1 turnover a game.
When you have the best defense in the league you would expect to seem numbers like a Manning, or Brady. You would think that if the defense is keeping the opposing team offense out of the end zone, and hardly able to convert drives that the same team's offense led by a franchise QB would have greater offensive stats. That isn't the case with Ben Roethlisberger. Take nothing away from Ben he is a solid QB that could start on more than half the teams in the NFL. However, he is overpaid, and perhaps the most overpaid player in the league at his position just because of one drive in a Super Bowl he should have done more in to begin with.
This team's defense was stellar all year even with players like Woodley, Troy, and Harrison out for so long. Somehow local fans still blamed Tomlin, and the defense. It's complete bullshit. Roethlisberger hasn't made a great name for himself outside of the NFL either, and I think combined with his average on the field production he should take a pay cut, or be traded. How many times has this man under thrown Wallace, and Brown? There have been countless times where this man has had wide open receivers that he just doesn't see, or under throws to. My greatest complaint about him is that he can't read a defense for shit. Andrew Luck understands NFL defenses better than Roethlisberger, even Arians said this.
Right now this team is on the verge of having one of the best, and young offensive lines in team history. We have one of the best wide receiver trios in the game today, and a tight end who is a jack of all trades. Like I said earlier our defense is the best in the game today, and that isn't going to change despite the lack of a consistent pass rush. This same team beat a Baltimore Ravens team at home with a near 40, 3rd string, QB. That is a good "team". Sometimes I feel like Roethlisberger thinks this is his team, and it's clearly not. They have won games despite him, and that is something most Steeler fans are aware of. With that said I am proposing this idea.
Trade Ben Roethlisberger to the St.Louis Ram for both of their 1st round picks, and other conditional picks. Sam Bradford has been a busts, and I could imagine them trading him off to another team for picks that they would lose to the Steelers. The Steelers, and Rams have had success in the past with trades benefiting both parties. The Rams gave up a HOF RB by the name of Jerome Bettis, and the Rams ended up with Bruce, and Holt in the draft via picks from Steelers. In this case it would be the Steelers giving away their franchise player, and then receiving picks as well to build their team like always through the draft.
This trade benefits both sides really. Roethlisberger now has a chance to prove himself as a player, and when he is in that mindset he is a dangerous QB, and I just don't think he can get in to that mindset here anymore. The Steelers know they can find a capable replacement via free agency because there is something that can be said of a letting go of a player who has a contract over $100 million. This process will free up plenty of cap space on top of what ever more cap space is added by the NFL come this free agent market.
Ben Roethlisberger goes off to become a Ram, and revitalizes his career in St.Louis. The Steelers look to none other than Alex Smith as their QB for the next 5-6 years.
Granted Smith is no Super Bowl QB, but this is a team that could clearly get him there. The offensive line is slowly turning in to something worth it's investment. When healthy this offensive line responded well protecting Ben, who for the most part holds on to the ball far to long. Alex Smith is athletic enough to run as well, but he is a prolific pocket passer. Smith had so many different offensive coordinators that he was unable to learn defenses. Alex has proven worthy of a starting job, and last year was very obvious of that. He won't ask for the type of contract as Ben Roethlisberger especially coming of an injury, which lead him to being benched behind a 2nd year starter.
The amount of cap space should also allow the Steelers to possibly work on contracts for Wallace, and Sanders. Not to mention asking others to take pay cuts like they typically will do. With that said I wouldn't even be surprised to see the Steelers possibly even look at someone like Maurice Jones-Drew as well. Trading off Ben could be a very cost effective move as well. The question is whether they could end up with Alex Smith, Jones-Drew, re-sign Wallace, and then make it on to signing draft picks. I am nearly certain trading Ben gives them close to 30 million plus in open cap space. With that type of money to spend they could certainly afford these players.
This way you now end up with a QB who was a former first overall pick. If there is a chance Maurice Jones-Drew would want to sign, you now have a clear workhorse in the backfield. Not to mention you keep the 3 wide receivers that you started off with. Now lets move on to what draft picks the Steelers obtain. Obviously, they would certainly end up with three first round draft picks should a deal with the Rams fall through. Most Steeler fans know that this team has always relied on the NFL Draft, and I believe GM Colbert, and company would do very well drafting in the first round of the draft. When you take a look at what type of players would be available to them with the 3 picks they could have, then it's clear that they have a chance to really build a dynasty of a team. Lets take a look.
Judging how things are now, they could end up after a trade with Rams with 3 picks within 14-25 pick range. Giving them a small box to find who they really want. Honestly I think there is a good chance they could be on the verge of making this defense even better than what it was last season. With that all said I think there is a good chance the Steelers could be in the position to draft some special players. I think these picks will mainly be centered around defense, and here are my thoughts on that matter. Right now it could end up after a theoretical trade with the Rams that the Steelers would end up picking 14th, 17th, and possibly 24th.
Manti Te'o - An inside linebacker from Notre Dame, and the perfect fit on this 3-4 defense. He is definitely a top 15 player. Yes, he is the type of player that can lead an already stellar defense to a championship. The teams that would be picking in front of us, don't have top ranked defenses. Thus, pushing this inside linebackers value down a bit. I can imagine him still being there once the Steelers make their first pick. Pairing him with Timmons, who is also a former first round pick would give this team something special in the middle of their defense.
Jesse Williams - A solid Nose Tackle out of Alabama. He could easily come in, and possibly replace Hampton immediately that's how much talent this kid has. He would be the perfect fit to a defense that would welcome him with open arms. Granted they drafted a DT last year, but he got in to some trouble with the law. They need more depth at that position anyhow since they are a 3-4 team. Williams is athletic enough to probably play anywhere on the 3-4 front, and that's what makes him so intriguing at his position. There is no doubt in my mind that this kid could be a future Steeler.
Eric Reid - This is a Free Safety out of LSU which has been known to produce solid players out of the secondary. He is the perfect player for this defense, as he is a very physical person. Reid is practically a younger version of Ryan Clark. With the amount of injuries to our secondary I wouldn't mind seeing this kid behind Troy, and Clark. He is young, and could easily become a starter due to injury. There is tons of potential with this guy, and I think he would be perfect for the Steelers.