Is Ben Roethlisberger really hanging up his cleats? The rumors definitely will not go away until Big Ben himself says what his plans are for the upcoming 2017 NFL season, but the Pittsburgh Steelers may not be so patient to wait for Ben’s final answer.
With the NFL Draft not too far off, the Steelers may have to go in a totally new direction if Roethlisberger is finished with pro football.
According to a Post-Gazette report, in a recent interview in Houston, Texas, former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw expressed his opinion about Roethlisberger, and what he thinks may happen in the future.
Naturally, Terry Bradshaw was asked about Ben Roethlisberger pondering retirement: "When he said that, I thought it was the pity move." pic.twitter.com/b4aPxyGZm8
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) January 31, 2017
“If Ben was sitting right here, I’d say ‘Ben, why’d you say it? Don’t say that.”
“It gets blown out of proportion. You make the organization uncomfortable. I wouldn’t have said that. Keep that quiet. Who’s he sending a message to? Coach? I’m already in enough trouble with that coach!”
Roethlisberger is the true leader of Pittsburgh’s offense, and if he did suddenly depart it would put the Steelers behind the eight-ball in the AFC North. Is there any real truth behind this, or was Big Ben just playing coy at the moment of a long, draining season?
Steelers owner Art Rooney II recently told ESPN he expects Roethlisberger to return for the 2017 season.
Roethlisberger’s hesitation is probably “a combination of things,” Rooney said. “Coming off a long season and a tough loss, and in this age in his career it’s not crazy to have thoughts about, ‘What’s the rest of my career going to be like?’ So, I think we had a good conversation. Obviously, he’s got to make his decision. I expect he’ll be back but he’s got to make that decision.”
In the spirit of the Super Bowl hoopla of prop bets, Oddsshark has released a prop on Big Ben.
The prop is cut and dry and simply asks if you believe Roethlisberger will be on the Week 1 roster for the Steelers in 2017. The odds heavily favor that Big Ben will be back on board with the Steelers, but if you think Roethlisberger is done for good, then you may need to wager on the “No” prop. At +550 that Roethlisberger won’t return in 2017, you could make a small a fortune for a minimal wager!
Now on to Jimmy Garoppolo.
With Super Bowl 51 on the horizon, the last thing the New England Patriots want to talk about are trade rumors of their backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. However, at this point, the rumors about Garoppolo being dealt are starting to heat up.
Garoppolo has NFL Talent, there isn’t much doubt about that, and he has shown it the few times he has been able to play. He led the Patriots to a 3-1 start at the beginning of the 2016 season while Tom Brady was serving his four-game suspension for the infamous deflategate, but do the Pats really want to deal him away?
Tom Brady is nearing 40, and Garoppolo may be one of the best backup QB’s in the league – so why deal him?
Well, that depends on what you can get in return.
Fanrag reports that the Cleveland Browns are interested in the Pats QB – very interested.
“Sources say the Browns’ interest in Garoppolo is real and that they’ll try to trade for him depending on how their evaluations of the draft prospects go over the next five weeks or so. If the Browns decide to draft Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson in the first round, they’ll be much less likely to pursue the Patriots’ backup — although they likely wouldn’t rule out doing both.”
Garoppolo, who is just 25, could still be the Patriots quarterback of the future. Let’s not forget that Aaron Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for nearly four seasons before getting his chance. If Brady does play another two or three seasons, Garoppolo would be a great option to step in and take over — and still have a good five seasons or more ahead of him.
It will be interesting to see what the Patriots do this offseason. The 49ers and Bears are also rumored to be in the mix for Garoppolo.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]