It has been two weeks since the NFL Network report that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was talking to the organization about a trade at season’s end. The report stated that Roethlisberger wasn’t happy with the direction the team was headed and was tired of losing.
Reports continued even after the Steelers organization, Roethlisberger’s agent, Roethlisberger himself and head coach Mike Tomlin all debunked the rumor. But they didn’t stop there.
Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, the Steelers’ two starting safeties have also been linked to rumors of being traded or released upon the completion of the regular season.
I wrote an article about how these rumors are just rumors, but when will they stop? The answer to that question is easy: When the Steelers start to win again on a consistent basis.
It sounds simple, but think about what the report said about Ben Roethlisberger wanting out of Pittsburgh. One of the reasons he wanted to leave was he was sick and tired of losing. If the Steelers continue to improve and win football games then that won’t become an excuse anymore.
When teams interject themselves back into the playoff picture and the division race these reports seem to lose their legs. Why trade or release a player like Troy Polamalu if he is a dominant force in the secondary and a difference maker down the stretch for Pittsburgh?
Why would the Steelers entertain a trade for Ben Roethlisberger after being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week when he threw for four touchdowns and over 360 yards last Sunday? Could you imagine what the Steelers’ offense would be without Roethlisberger this year? It wouldn’t be pretty.
When you win people are happy. When people are happy they don’t complain, and when people don’t complain rumors like these don’t start.
Expect these rumors to cease when the Steelers string together a couple quality wins and find themselves in the thick of a playoff race. Until then, the rumors will continue to swirl.
Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz