Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 21, 2010
Raiders should trade No. 8 pick for Roethlisberger, or not

OK, so now we know for sure that Ben Roethlisberger has been slapped with a six-game suspension by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that could be reduced to four games with, ahem, good behavior.

And we keep hearing that Pittsburgh is willing to trade their disgraced franchise quarterback for a Top 10 pick in tomorrow's draft, especially since the Steelers just reacquired Byron Leftwich.

So of course, that means the Raiders, who hold the No. 8 overall pick, are a logical landing spot, right? Absolutely. Yeah, but not so quick.

Following then, five pros and cons to the Raiders making a realistic run at Roethlisberger:


PRO - With apologies to Bruce Gradkowski, JaMarcus Russell, Kyle Boller and Charlie Frye, Roethlisberger is a better quarterback than anything the Raiders currently have on their roster.
CON - Yeah, but he's going to miss at least the first four games of the season and possibly the first six. How much good could he do if he's already missing a quarter of the season? Plus, Gradkowski beat Roethlisberger, 27-24, in Pittsburgh this past Dec. 6 and the Raiders were rallying around his brand of leadership before his season ended with a pair of knee injuries a week later.

PRO - He's already win a pair of Super Bowls - Jim Plunkett and Tom Brady are the only other QBs to have won multiple titles and not be enshrined in Canton, and Brady's bust will be in the Hall of Fame six years after he takes his last snap.
CON - Yeah, but he's also presided over a pair of ugly post-Super Bowl hangovers as the Steelers failed to make the playoffs the season after winning the championship. Some might say that speaks to a lack of focus in the afterglow of a title.

PRO - Even at 6-feet-5, 240 pounds, Big Ben is far from immobile. In fact, his size belies his nimble feet as he is one of the toughest quarterbacks in the NFL to bring down. And with the Raiders' oft-leaky offensive line, the Raiders need a quarterback that can think on his feet, like what Gradkowski and Frye showed flashes of last season, and unlike what Russell has shown in three seasons.
CON - Yeah, but with the problems of the aforementioned offensive line, you could throw Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and/or Brett Favre under center for the Raiders and they'd have trouble managing a game, what with running for their respective lives and being on their backs so often. The O-line has to be fixed, or at least be serviceable.

PRO - He's 68-28 as a starter, including the postseason, since entering the league in 2004 as the No. 11 overall pick out of Miami of Ohio so he'd bring a winner's mentality into a locker room that hasn't experienced winning on a consistent basis since 2002. That kind of thing rubs off on other players, right?
CON - Yeah, but how much winning could he do from the sidelines, where he'll be for at least the first four games? Plus, he's 0-2 against the Raiders themselves, with both losses coming as defending Super Bowl champs. And if he can't beat the Raiders...but I digress. Then there's this - bringing in another franchise quarterback would mean Al Davis admitting he was wrong on Russell.

PRO - Despite the reams of negative news, appalling accusations and scandalous stories surrounding Roethlisberger - twice in the past year he has been accused of sexual assault and anecdotes showing a purported caveman attitude toward women continue to pop up - he has not been charged with a crime. He's guilty of bad judgment, certainly, and probably a sickening sense of self-entitlement. But maybe this suspension serves as a wake-up call and he's better for it. Plus, isn't Oakland where the NFL's bad boys go to resurrect their careers, if not their images?
CON - Yeah, but that Silver and Blackdom serving as a Last Chance Saloon for wayward players-story has become trite. Plus, for all of his eccentricities, make no mistake about Davis having a very strong moral compass on matters of family and loyalty. As such, he might not welcome an accused rapist in his house. And to you fans, while you might not have any issues with taking your kids to sit in the Black Hole during a game, would you want your young daughters hanging out with Big Ben after the game?

So what say you, Raider Nation, should the Raiders see if the Steelers would take the No. 8 pick for Roethlisberger?

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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