Last week I wrote an article on the potential fantasy impact of the Pittsburgh Steelers trading Big Ben. Yesterday the Steelers traded a seventh round pick the the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for QB Byron Leftwich. The latest news today is that Roethlisberger has been suspended 4-6 games for the upcoming season.
While many believe it inconceivable that Big Ben will get moved, including our good friends The IDP Guru and Hatty's Waiver Wire Guru, the concept that all this noise is simply to scare Ben straight doesn't ring true. Ben has somewhat disgraced the name of the Steelers organization despite winning two Superbowls. That simply doesn't fly with the Rooney family.
During the April 19th edition of Fantasy Football Tonight with Ryan (IDP Guru) and Hatty (Hatty Waiver Wire), a listener brought up the race card concern, which is sadly still a tangible issue. If the team traded Santonio Holmes for off field behavior unbecoming of the organization, how do they not trade their white knight? One listener suggested that not trading him would create a racial divide in the Steelers locker room.
Now rumors are heating up that the organization is not only fielding offers for Roethlisberger, but now actively shopping him and making calls to other teams with top 10 draft picks. The Steelers are currently 18th in the first round of this years draft, which kicks off tomorrow.
Just about every team in the first 10 picks need a QB, but two teams stand out as probable trade partners; the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks.
Buffalo Bills (pick 9) - The Bills are the current AFC East cellar dwellers. The New England Patriots are, well, the Patriots, the Miami Dolphins pick up of Marshall instantly makes their offense more credible. After the New York Jets grabbed Santonio Holmes and made other trades to fortify a team that went to the play-offs last year, the Bills are going to looking up the standings all season. They need Big Ben to compete in 2010. Simple as that.
Seattle Seahawks (pick 6 and 14) - The Seasquabs have two first round picks in the first 14. Matt Hasselbeck can't stay healthy, and the team has several great receivers for Ben to connect with. The Seahawks pick up of Charlie Whitehurst, may have lessened their desire to make a move for Roethlisberger, but if they grab Ben, trade for a Marshawn Lynch or even Lendale White, or grab CJ Spiller in the draft, they could spend the rest of the draft fixing their offensive line woes, and be an immediate threat in the NFC West.
Other possibilities include;
Cleveland Browns - Never happen.
Oakland Raiders - They'd really have to hate Ben to make that trade.
Jacksonville Jaguars - Division trade highly unlikely.
St. Louis Rams - Not likely, but it would certainly change the scope of the draft.
San Francisco 49ers - They are still an outside chance at pick 13, but it doesn't seem likely.
The fantasy impact of his trade could be huge, but until we see where he lands it is simply endless speculation, but as soon as we know, you'll know.