Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Time To Trade Ben Roethlisberger

AP photos

In the 2013 version of its annual NFL Top 100 Players, the NFL Network listed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at No. 61. The same signal caller was at No. 30 last season. Since he's obviously in decline, it's time to trade him while he still has value.

You read that correctly. Trade Ben Roethlisberger. The time couldn't be better. The talking heads have spoken. Why keep a player past the point of his usefulness when his skills must so obviously be eroding? They must be eroding or else the man wouldn't be plummeting down NFL Network's list. In fact, check again to see if he's fallen any further. No? Ok, then we'll go ahead and continue with this piece.

But really, though, we should've seen this coming. Wasn't it just back in February that future first-ballot Hall of Famer and erudite Donovan McNabb rated Big Ben as only the eighth best quarterback in the NFL? Wasn't that even generous on his part considering his choice at No. 9 beat Big Ben in 2012? -

After all, what has he done anyway? In the first nine games of the season before his injury, he only led the Steelers to 6-3 record. Who cares that his offense was one of the most efficient in the league by a large margin, leading the NFL in third-down conversions and time of possession? Or that Big Ben was leading the NFL in third-down passing and was on pace for having one of the best seasons of his career.

And it wasn't as if he did anything before that. He only has a paltry .690 winning percentage, which isn't even best in the league. He's second for goodness sake! He's also second among active quarterbacks in playoff victories with 10, second in Super Bowl appearances with three, and second in Super Bowl wins with two. And as we all know, second is just the first loser. And the Steelers don't like losers!

Besides, the NFL Network says he's in the lower half of the NFL, so it must be true. Their polls are absolutely and completely scientific, therefore infallible. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette agrees and explains the process involved.

"Pay no attention to these rankings," wrote Bouchette. "They're silly, a gimmick and merely to help the NFL Network boost some of its meager off-season ratings. They also don't really poll that many players because players won't take the time to do it."

Sounds like solid empirical data to me! Bouchette drives the nail further into Big Ben's proverbial coffin when comparing other such polls.

"Sports Illustrated does its 'player' polls too. I saw how they do it. They'd send an intern to Steelers camp and she would interview a dozen or so of their players, many of them undrafted rookies who would never play in the league and ask questions like 'Who is the worst ref in the NFL?'" -

Doesn't seem like anything more is needed. With evidence obviously showing that Big Ben has been on a precipitous decline the last few years, the NFL Network conducting an objectively precise poll and Bouchette verifying their methodical approach, what else is there to say?

It's time to trade Big Ben now while the Steelers can still get value for him, even if it only nets a seventh rounder (7 for 7?), and usher in the John Parker Wilson era.

(For those who haven't yet realized it, this is satire. which we thought was abundantly evident. C'mon, people! If nothing else alerted you..."the John Parker Wilson era"??? smdh)