Steelers veteran quarterback Roethlisberger refutes recent trade rumor
After weeks of explaining why the Steelers' offense isn't consistently moving the ball, Ben Roethlisberger said he's not going anywhere, either.
Roethlisberger on Sunday laughed off an NFL Network report that he was “incredibly frustrated” with the direction the Steelers are headed and might ask for a trade after the season.
Roethlisberger's agent, Ryan Tollner, emphatically denied the report. Steelers president Art Rooney II also issued a rare in-game statement, saying the team hasn't weighed such a trade and has no plans to do so.
“It's one of the (most inaccurate) stories I've ever heard of,” Roethlisberger said following a 23-10 win over Buffalo. “I've always said I wanted to be a Steeler for life. I love it here. I'm happy here. I don't want to go anywhere. No one in my family, our camp, (my) agents, no one has ever said anything about (a trade).”
The NFL Network report by Ian Rapoport said the 31-year-old quarterback isn't happy with the offensive coaching staff, and not just coordinator Todd Haley.
“Ian Rapoport's apparent sources seem to be guessing what Ben feels about the Steelers and being traded. This is completely wrong and inaccurate,” Tollner said in a statement. “Ben has always said he wants to play his entire career for the Steelers, and his roots are firmly set in Pittsburgh. He has a lot left in the tank and is 100 percent committed to winning more championships with the Steelers.”
According to the NFL Network, the Steelers were contacted by at least one team last season inquiring about a possible Roethlisberger trade.
“Contrary to erroneous reports, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not explored trading Ben Roethlisberger and have no plans to do so,” Rooney said.
Roethlisberger has a 90-45 regular-season record and is the fifth-fastest quarterback in the Super Bowl era to reach the 90-win mark. He has played in three Super Bowls, winning two in the 2005 and '08 seasons, since being a first-round draft pick in 2004, the year he led the Steelers to a 15-1 record.
“I'm a Pittsburgher,” Roethlisberger said. “I've told people that. … I want to finish my career here, however long that is. I don't want to play for anybody else. This is it for me.”
After this season, the Steelers are expected to attempt to extend Roethlisberger's contract, which has two years remaining. Under his current deal, he would make less than $13 million in salary next season but his deal would count $17.8 million against the cap.
“I have no control over that,” Roethlisberger said. “To me, it's about giving everything I have to this organization. That's what I am going to do.”