Trade Big Ben?

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Recently rumors have surfaces that maybe Steelers QB and two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger might want a trade out of Pittsburgh.  This seems crazy to fathom, as he's been the face of the franchise for nearly a decade and is one of the few QB's in the league with the kind of two minute prowess tha tmakes you believer you're truly in any game you play.

Still, it's an interesting thought.  Imagine Big Ben behind a solid O-Line, like you can find with the Vikings or perhaps the Bucs?  What about rejoining former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, now the head coach in Arizona?  It's reasonable to think he'd fit in several locations, but why would the Steelers trade him?

Pittsburgh, now 3-6 in a frustratingly inconsistent AFC North division, has been on a rapid decline the last couple of years.  They're defense is seemingly aging in dog years, and the offensive line has been a problem for what seems like forever.  Furthermore, Ben has watched weapons like Hines Ward and Mike Wallace retire or move on to greener (and by greener I mean richer) pastures.  Maybe the Steelers should trade Ben if he want sout, and get some assets while he still has a lot of value.

Ben isn't a young man at 31, he's got about 5-6 years left if he's lucky before all those hits he's taken over the years reduce him to jelly.  While he's come out and squashed the rumors, it's still a faun game to play.  Should the Steelers entertain offers for the veteran, it's reasonable to think that a pair of first round picks might very well be on the table.  My suggestion is that the Steelers go for it and commit to a rebuild.  Unless there's some level of playoff success at the end of this year, it might be time for the Steelers to unload in the offseason and reload with young talent.  It seems crazy to think of giving up a two-time Super Bowl winning QB, but with the hits Ben has taken over his career, sometimes the smartest move to make is to pre-empt a rapid decline.  If this team is getting you 3-6, how much worse can it be after a youth movement?

Josh Freeman a Viking

                   I'll show you sandwich! 

                   I'll show you sandwich! 

After a tumultuous ride over the past few months in Tampa Bay, quarterback Josh Freeman landed on the Minnesota Vikings.  The Bucs cut him after he presumably ate Greg Schiano's sandwich and possibly slept with his girlfriend, and Freeman lasted only a few days before landing with the Vikings. 

We know what happened in Tampa.  Freeman and Schiano inexplicably stopped getting along (I still say it's the sandwich thing) late last year and things just escalated over the past several months.  Freeman was no longer invited to meetings, he was demoted from his starting job, and I even heard that Schiano wouldn't let him play any of the reindeer games that he played with everyone else.

So the Bucs cut him.  2009 first round pick, great arm, showed poise, only 25 years old.  Yeah, no need for him.  Bucs let him go.  Ate almost six million dollars to do it to.  Needless to say, that was a very expensive sandwich of Schiano's. 

So leaving Tampa behind, we see a young player now beginning again in a new surrounding.  The Vikings, led by MattChristian Ponder-Cassell, are in desperate need of a new quarterback, have an elite running game, and some youth to build around.  This is the perfect environment for the talented Freeman, who will get a new start with a coach that doesn't get upset over sandwiches.

Freeman may not pan out.  He struggled late last year and looked downright awful the first few games of this season.  He will get a legit shot in Minnesota however.  And whether that happens now or next season (with a new contract), bringing him in now gives him all season to learn the playbook and develop a connection with the Vikings pass catchers.  That should give him a head start on next season, when he inevitably enters the season as the starter and circles the Bucs on his calendar.  

 

Cut Day Surprises

Every year, right before the season, each NFL team has to cut down from 75 to 53 players on the roster.  This is one of the saddest days of the year as an NFL hopeful, but it’s also the time of year when fans can get a real look at what their favorite team’s roster is going to look like entering the season.

Every season, there are several players who get cut that suprises me.  This year, there are only a few real surprises, but some nonetheless.  Below, I’ve outlined the surprise cuts at each position.

QB – Matt Leinart and Thaddeus Lewis, Buffalo; Vince Young, Green Bay; Tim Tebow, New England; David Carr, New York Giants; Tyler Wilson, Oakland

Leinart and Thad Lewis were only signed to fill in for the Bills, who only had Jeff Tuel healthy after Kevin Kolb went on IR.  It was surprising that the Bills didn’t hang on to one of them, particularly because Lewis looked pretty good in his final season, and it seemed reasonable to think that he might fit in the offense behind the mobile E.J. Manuel.  Vince Young was a surprise until the Packers brought in Seneca Wallace, who is definitely an upgrade at the backup position.  Tim Tebow isn’t really a surprise, but I have to wonder what the Patriots were hoping to get out of him with the top two QB spots already set before they brought him in.  David Carr has been there a long time, so it’s telling that the rookie Ryan Nassib beat him out at the backup spot.  Tyler Wilson was a fourth round pick who looked good early in the off-season and it seems premature to give up on him so early.

RB/FB – Ryan Torain, New York Giants; Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh; Alexander Green, Green Bay; Shaun Draughn, Kansas City; Evan Rodriguez, Miami

Torain was on a last chance effort to make a squad, vying for time behind David Wilson while Andre Brown is out with a broken leg.  The Giants went with youth over Torain.  Dwyer fell out of favor with the Steelers, but has looked good at times.  It’ll be surprising if nobody picks him up.  Green and Draughn both were contributors last year and I thought they were sure to make the roster.  Rodriguez was the closest thing to a fullback Miami had before signing Tyler Clutts, and his versatility looked like it might save him.

WR/TE – Tandon Doss, Baltimore; Jordan Shipley, Jacksonville; Chris Harper, Seattle

Doss was a guy I was really high on coming out of college, thinking he had a little T.O. kind of ability to him.  Clearly, he was outplayed by other youngsters in Baltimore, but it was surprising that he was cut.  Shipley has been bouncing around the league but it’s surprising he can’t stick on a roster at least as a chain mover.  Harper was a fourth round pick, and it’s rare to see someone that highly drafted fail to make a roster his rookie year.  He was outplayed by Jermaine Kearse in the offseason.  No TE cuts surprised me.

OL – Senio Kelemete, Arizona; Zebrie Sanders, Buffalo

Kelemete and Sanders are both players that had a tremendous amount of talent and development potential coming into the draft last year.  This year, they’ve been cut by their respective teams.  While neither player had good rookie seasons, and neither was particularly highly drafted, it’s still surprising to me that these two young talents find themselves without jobs this week.  It’ll be interesting to see who picks them up and whether or not someone else can turn them into NFL starters.

Admittedly, there really weren’t any surprising cuts on the defensive side of the ball.  Most of the defensive players that were cut were expected to be cut.

 

Weekly Roundup

Hello everyone!  Here’s what 2 Guys are reading this week:

With only one year left on his deal and a need at small forward, this is one of the only moves the Bucks have made this year that I like.

My man-crush on Tyrann Mathieu knows no bounds, as the young kid has looked sharp all pre-season and should see the field early this year.

This hurts the Giants, and I feel bad for Andre Brown who finally carved a role for himself in the NFL.  Hopefully he can come back strong from a broken leg.

I stumbled on this article in the Atlantic, and now I want to read You Know Me Al.

Yasiel Puig benched for effort on D.  Love this rookie, both as a player and as a topic of interest.

Gronk might be there early in the season after all.

No fault deal for the NFL is a savvy business decision on the part of Goodell and good for the league image.  Ethics is another thing… but perhaps this concussion settlement will provide a little closure?  Rule changes will continue I’m sure.

Mike Davis off to a good start to his sophomore year, busting a 75 yard run.  I’m so glad football is back!

Speaking of college football, seriously NCAA?  This is all for Johnny Football?  I don’t personally care, but at least make an effort to be consistent.  At least try not to depict the NCAA as a complete farce.  One half of one game?  That says “we think he’s wrong, but we don’t really want to lose revenue from Johnny Football.”  Why even suspend him?  What a joke.

Let’s close this week with Tara Reid dropping some shark “knowledge.”  It’s too funny not to share.  By the way?  Sharknado is awesomely bad and I truly hope for a sequel.

 

Have a great weekend everyone!