Rethinking Roethlisberger’s rant

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All things considered, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shouldn’t have been quite so candid regarding his reaction to the team’s decision to spend a mid-level draft pick on another quarterback for a second straight season. After further consideration, however, there are certain aspects of Roethlisberger’s rant that merit a measure of respect.

First, he’s not playing games or beating around the bush, like a plead-the-fifth-ing future Hall of Famer who wouldn’t give a direct answer to the very specific and precise question of whether he feels appreciated. Roethlisberger has a concern, and if he’s not going to keep it to himself, he may as well put all cards on the table.

Second, Roethlisberger knows that he has only so many bites at the apple to win a third Super Bowl. So if the team has clear needs at other positions along with a pair of backup quarterbacks, why draft another? And if the answer is, “Because you keep talking about quitting,” the reality is that Roethlisbeger’s retirement rumblings came from being fed up with former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The moment Haley left, Roethlisberger started talking about playing at least three more years. The Steelers presumably understand the connection between Ben thinking about walking away and making Haley run, but they nevertheless used a third-round pick on another potential replacement.

Third, Roethlisberger could have created an even bigger issue by making noise about his contract, but he didn’t. His interview with 93.7 The Fan came a day after the Falcons gave quarterback Matt Ryan a deal worth $30 million per year in new money. Roethlisberger currently averages $21.85 million annually. For the same reasons that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($22 million) and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ($21.9 million) should feel underpaid, Roethlisberger should, too. But Roethlisberger expressed no concern or discontent of any kind about a contract that now puts him much farther from the top of the market than his performance would merit.

So, basically, after having some more time to think this thing through (the video from Monday’s PFT Live is attached), Ben’s comments while still not the most brilliant thing he’s ever done actually make some sense. And his words definitely strip away any sense of mystery and confusion like what Tom Brady has brought to the Patriots, with a nagging sense that something is wrong and a chronic failure to say what it is.

68 responses to “Rethinking Roethlisberger’s rant

  1. I can’t believe Little Ben is still whining about Mason Rudolph. How much attention does he need? He had his chance to go to the Superbowl but instead, he let the Jaguars clown stomp him. And blaming it on Haley is just sad. Haley wasn’t out there throwing picks. Ben should be glad his team faced the two worst Superbowl teams in history and managed to squeak by both times. Since then, he’s been Tebowed, Flaccoed, Manninghandled, Bradied, and now Bortled. Give it up and quit complaining.

  2. Unless the quarterback “market” is an actual physical place — say, a marketplace — then Ben is no “farther” from it than he was before Ryan’s new contract.

  3. let’s face it. he’s kind of a jerk

    at least he talks in his own voice now, instead of the way he did at first, if y’all know what i mean?

  4. I hate when it’s framed that these guys are “underpaid.” Perhaps relative to only a few others that have the same rare job or to team cap space but to say “underpaid” and then quote someone’s salary in parenthesis of $22 million is just gross. There has to be another way to describe this situation without framing it like these QBs are feeding their families ramen noodles.

    And that’s another thing. When someone makes the argument during a contract dispute that he has to “feed his family” (Hello TO) on a “measly” NFL salary. Please!

  5. I rethought it and came up with the same conclusion. He’s a delusional cry baby. It’s so simple, you threatened to retire just one year ago and then get mad when they draft your replacement? Real team first guy right there.

  6. 2018 script from HC: QB, your are just that, the QB. OC is in charge, and what he says goes! Questions, of course, are ok, but ALWAYS remember OC rules. Got that? Of course, this needed to be executed a few years ago, but, oh well. You may agree that the longer it went unsaid, the mouthier the QB got.

  7. Ben has never been known for his thinking. Generally, I’d say as long as a team has star QB, they should be going all-in every year to win. Worry about finding the next QB after the star is done. Steelers have said they rated Rudolph very high. I think in the third, they decided the value was too good, even though they didn’t have a need at the position, that grabbed Rudolph, and I get the decision.

  8. The Patriots and Brady don’t need to tell the media exactly what is going on.

    Roethlisberger obviously felt he did.

    The second is far more dysfunctional than the first from a team perspective.

  9. “confusion like what Tom Brady has brought to the Patriots, with a nagging sense that something is wrong and a chronic failure to say what it is.”
    ——————————

    MEDIA-DRIVEN STORYLINE ONLY. Patriots are still doing what they normally do.

    As for the “plead-the-fifth-ing future Hall of Famer who wouldn’t give a direct answer to the very specific and precise question of whether he feels appreciated”, Brady NEVER talks about what other people think or feel. He tells them to ask the person instead.

  10. First, he’s not playing games or beating around the bush, like a plead-the-fifth-ing future Hall of Famer who wouldn’t give a direct answer to the very specific and precise question of whether he feels appreciated. Roethlisberger has a concern, and if he’s not going to keep it to himself, he may as well put all cards on the table.

    not even a veiled swipe at Brady.. why can’t you arse holes just write a sports story instead of all the personal comments… you probably are as bad a Rothelsberger but you thought more about weiners than tacos

  11. he has no reason to complain… he spent a week on PFT threatening to retire… so let him.. now the Steelers protected themselves and he is crying

  12. Young male lions chase out the old, if they can pull it off. The old resist until they can’t do it anymore. Old as the song itself. Seems like an American Football quarterbacks’ room is the perfect spot for such jungle politics. I don’t like Ben, but I don’t begrudge him a thing for what he says into the mike. It’s refreshing that he’s unedited about what’s really going on.

  13. With Todd Haley gone I can’t see how they are a better team.

    We know Tomlin is not calling the offense and if they leave it up to Ben he is going to throw the deep ball more often than not.

  14. Favre threatened to retire for a few years in a row to try and get the Packers to sign some free agents and draft for the now instead of the future and “go for it all” while he still had some years left and he was crucified here and in other media.
    Ben wants another title before he is done as well. I totally understand.

  15. And if Ben had “a concern”, then take it up with the people that matter. Talk to your coach, GM or owner. Yapping to the media is not the way to go as it’s pointless and unproductive. Or worse, it causes a year-long distraction on your teammates.

  16. If these guys don’t want to feel underpaid they should opt for shorter term contracts…but they would get a smaller signing bonus.

  17. “And [Ben’s] words definitely strip away any sense of mystery and confusion like what Tom Brady has brought to the Patriots, with a nagging sense that something is wrong and a chronic failure to say what it is.”
    ————————
    Yes Florio, good ol’ Ben airs out his dysfunctional selfish whining which is nothing but a healthy sign for the Steelers, while Brady’s silence except for a crappy joke about not wanting to launder it all in public proves there’s a chronic problem within Pats, rotting them to the core. Got it.

  18. Well gee, why don’t we just put all these overpaid starting QB’s on a fixed minimum wage that keeps pace with inflation. How about making them like union workers. Every starting QB gets $30 million plus a year. That way they don’t really have to prove anything just that they are a starting QB!!! As if they haven’t already been paid loads of millions and many haven’t even won a damn playoff game! One wrong does not make the next overpayment right!!! It in facts makes it a bad payment system much like the old rookie contract that just paid the draft picks the top dollar even though they had not played a down in the NFL. That was stupid and so is this “starting QB salary”. If I were a player at another position I would be highly pissed. Because we all know without superior talent ALL AROUND THEM (QB’S) they can’t win a SB, let alone a playoff game!!! Share the rookie savings with ALL OF THE STARTERS!!! Ben has no reason to complain about salary! BEN ROETHLESBERGER HAS EARNED OVER $170 MILLION DOLLARS in his career through 2017!!! With more on the way!

  19. I’m guessing Brett Favre would have preferred the Packers take someone from another position in the first round in 2005 rather than Aaron Rodgers, but sometimes you have to take a long-term view when value falls to you. The Steelers probably have a high opinion of Rudolph and didn’t want to pass up the value when he was there in the third round.

  20. I don’t see the big deal. Favre and Rogers both said the same thing and had/have no interest in going out of their way to help the person that might replace them.

  21. As for “making noise about his contract”, Roethlisberger had the highest salary in 2015-2016. He already got paid a lot more than Ryan or Wilson in the past few years, and now it’s their turn to cash in. If he didn’t like it, then he should’ve just signed a one-year contract and take the chance he doesn’t get a career-ending injury.

  22. Maybe Big Ben noticed that the Patriots did not use a high draft pick on a qb this year to replace their QB who is 5 years older than Ben.

  23. “Why draft a quarterback?” if the goal is to win now? Because backup QB is an important position too! Heck, we saw the entire Dallas Cowboy offense go off kilter when key LT Tyron Smith was injured and the team didn’t have a suitable backup behind him, and that’s not even the most important position in football. Roethlisberger has a tendency to get dinged up, and in the past the Steelers have struggled to be competitive with a hurt or out Roethlisberger. Having a better chance of winning 1-4 games without Roethlisberger helps the team’s championship aspirations too.

  24. 1) Ben commented once, not repeatedly.
    2) A rant? No, an interview. He was asked specific questions by a pair of interviewers to whom he speaks regularly. He gave clear, concise and generally emotion-free answers. At no time was his voice raised.
    3) Media and fans decry formulaic answers and demand candor. Then, when they get candor, they impugn and mock the person who gave them what they demanded.
    4) Pedants attempting to divine ‘what Ben really meant’ by parsing his words are missing the forest for the trees. He’s simply saying that he doesn’t live and die by the NFL draft the way its geeky onlookers do. He’s also saying that a 3rd round rookie who has yet to throw a ball as a professional is hardly a threat or an imposition.
    5) It is not arrogant, dismissive, combative etc. for Ben or anyone else to question the pick of Dobbs vis-a-vis the pick of Rudolph. Two QBs in two years. Ben also understandably wonders why the rest of the world isn’t as curious about the front office’s decisions instead of having a go at him for stating the bleeding obvious.

  25. I like Ben being selfish as it shows he still has the fire to win another Lombardi. He isn’t crying about money he wants to win….now and what is wrong with that. The chum trolls love to toss shade at Ben because their thought process is very basic and limited and short sighted. Florio sees it in the correct light. Sorry trolls foiled again.

  26. What’s the point of this article? Another underpaid QB? I don’t understand why people can’t understand how the market works. The salary cap goes up every year. Every franchise QB will get more every year. If you signed a contract 3 or 4 years ago you are underpaid. Don’t like it, go year to year. And oh by the way…You have the best WR and RB in football…put up or shut up…or get rid of your vastly overrated coach.

  27. Really need starting QB’s to explain that if they mentor a young QB then they’re not doing the proper game prep and the team is going to get blown out. It’s the coaching staffs responsibility to teach the game to the rookies.

    It’s obvious that there is a disconnect between fans and players. Fans want the team to be great forever…players want to be great now and do not care what happens once they walk out the door.

  28. floridaslonechargersfan,

    I down-voted your comment only because I’m pretty sure you were thinking of the comment Sprewell made years ago. I don’t recall TO making that comment. If he did feel free to down-vote my comment.

  29. He is not underpaid. He signed a 5 year contact in 2015

    In 5 years Matt Ryan will be “underpaid” too.

  30. Ben said nothing about being unhappy with his contract….where those comments are coming from, who knows. That said, and as a Steelers fan, he should not being publicly airing his displeasure with the selection of Rudolph. The Steelers do need a quality backup with the potential to be the starter when Ben retires, Jones, nor Dobbs is the answer. I cringe every time I see Jones warming up to come into the game. Dobbs, while extremely smart, was a wasted 4th round pick(IMO).

  31. The point of this article…. to reinforce that the offseason blows & so does the quality of media reporting…..that’s the point…..
    Create drama where there is none & over analyzing every word either spoken or not spoken to feed an underlying personal agenda……

  32. Ben is a selfish turd who thinks the entire Steeler organization is all about HIM! A LeBron James wannabe, like he should be running the organization. Dude, you ain’t all that and you should be glad you were drafted by the Steelers otherwise you would be Carson Palmer without the hype.

  33. Nofoolnodrool says:
    May 8, 2018 at 12:42 pm
    I like Ben being selfish as it shows he still has the fire to win another Lombardi. He isn’t crying about money he wants to win….now and what is wrong with that. The chum trolls love to toss shade at Ben because their thought process is very basic and limited and short sighted. Florio sees it in the correct light. Sorry trolls foiled again.

    ———-

    The only thing for which Ben has fire is eating another dozen donuts. Ben nor any of the Steelers will even make it to another SB as long as Mike Tomlin is at the helm. Ben knows it. The team knows it. And you know it too.

  34. He could’ve helped his situation by sitting down with the GM and coach and telling them that despite the reports etc, he is committed to playing 3 more years at QB and leaving them with no question about his commitment. Instead he (1) has left them with doubt and forced them to prepare for him to retire and (2) by way of his comments, given them reason hope he retires sooner rather than later.

  35. damcmp says:
    May 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm
    he has no reason to complain… he spent a week on PFT threatening to retire… so let him.. now the Steelers protected themselves and he is crying

    ——–

    Also… it’s pretty normal to draft another QB and see if you can develop him. Patriots have traded away many developing QBs over the years for reasonable to high value.

  36. He doesn’t filter his comments. Don’t know if it is just how he is, doesn’t care or stupid.
    Probably some of each.
    He’s been around gotten beat up on the field and in the press.
    Tried to be mister “say the right thing” and got clobbered for. (Folks who write for this site have done their fair share)
    So now he just says what is on his mind and could care less what you, me or the yellow press thinks.

  37. This primarily occurs because, unlike Brady or a lot of other guys, Roethlisberger appears on a radio show weekly during the season, and frequently otherwise, where these issues are discussed outside of the confines of the organization. That’s the point of the show. The fan gets to hear it from the horse’s mouth. For the media, it gives abundant fodder to obsess over and make mountains out of molehills, which they do time and again.

    Other difference compared with a Brady since people are comparing is that Pats players can’t talk about anything that the regime deems unspeakable. Gronk couldn’t even talk about something as stupidly mundane as celebrations during a presser because of fear of regime-induced punishment. Sounds awesome.

    FWIW, regardless of your views on what Roethlisberger’s said about all of this, Rudolph has at least handled it well. Awkward situation to be dropped into.

  38. steelerfaninok says:
    May 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm
    Ben needs to be pushed.. Rudolph is good and Ben knows it. Hope it lights a fire under Ben and we don’t choke away another season

    ——————–

    A “good” college QB that hasn’t stepped foot on an NFL field is very different from a QB that has been to 3 Super Bowls and 5 AFC Championships. Ben has (less than) nothing to worry about.

  39. Fatty has realized that thw qb market has blown up and wants his last bog payday that’s all his o so about. Bending the team over to try and get that last contract by doing his best favre. Pitt’s been playing this games a lot longer than he’s been around. Now he’s mad cause by moving up and drafting Rudolph potentially compromises that new contract. If Jean so driven by money maybe he shouldn’t have been such a wad and gotten into trouble with those women and then maybe he wouldn’t have somebody national endorsement money. Dot feel sorry for this pig who has always thought he was better than everyone.

  40. I think Ben’s point was really that the Steelers already drafted backup QBs recently, including 4th rounders in 2017 and 2013. Nonetheless taking a third rounder now suggests they wasted those earlier picks, and of course the pattern could continue in the future. He was basically questioning the draft wisdom of burning picks every year, he just said it in a way that made him sound like an egotistical jerk for some reason.

  41. I don’t know why the Steelers don’t Trade him. Ben’s best football is behind him and he cant even finish a whole season. Trade him and his reset to keep your Superbowl Window open. Once Brown or Bell leave it’s closed unless you get a better QB.

  42. One thing that was left out was that Ben knows he has to say goodbye to either Jones or Dobbs. I think he genuinely likes both of them and has developed a good relationship with them. He has always been supportive of those two guys.

  43. mmmpierogi says:

    May 8, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    This primarily occurs because, unlike Brady or a lot of other guys, Roethlisberger appears on a radio show weekly during the season, and frequently otherwise, where these issues are discussed outside of the confines of the organization. That’s the point of the show. The fan gets to hear it from the horse’s mouth. For the media, it gives abundant fodder to obsess over and make mountains out of molehills, which they do time and again.

    Other difference compared with a Brady since people are comparing is that Pats players can’t talk about anything that the regime deems unspeakable. Gronk couldn’t even talk about something as stupidly mundane as celebrations during a presser because of fear of regime-induced punishment. Sounds awesome.
    ————————————————————————
    Brady has a weekly radio show also, he just doesn’t say stupid things like this. And as a fan, I could care less about hearing things from the horse’s mouth. I watch the games and hope my team wins.

  44. A “good” college QB that hasn’t stepped foot on an NFL field is very different from a QB that has been to 3 Super Bowls and 5 AFC Championships. Ben has (less than) nothing to worry about.
    —————-
    Errrr, he sounds worried to me. I would be worried too if I lost to Blake Bortles twice in the same season, and will never beat Tom Brady in a meaningful game! Who says your good when you have no defense to carry you… Dude has every offensive weapon any QB can dream of and still can’t get it done!! Yeah, he should be worried!!

  45. mmmpierogi says:
    May 8, 2018 at 1:42 pm
    This primarily occurs because, unlike Brady or a lot of other guys, Roethlisberger appears on a radio show weekly during the season, and frequently otherwise, where these issues are discussed outside of the confines of the organization. That’s the point of the show. The fan gets to hear it from the horse’s mouth. For the media, it gives abundant fodder to obsess over and make mountains out of molehills, which they do time and again.

    Other difference compared with a Brady since people are comparing is that Pats players can’t talk about anything that the regime deems unspeakable. Gronk couldn’t even talk about something as stupidly mundane as celebrations during a presser because of fear of regime-induced punishment. Sounds awesome.

    FWIW, regardless of your views on what Roethlisberger’s said about all of this, Rudolph has at least handled it well. Awkward situation to be dropped into.
    ———-
    Brady talks to WEEI every Monday morning at 9am. I get it, you’re likely not in this market and wouldn’t ever listen, but trust me, he does it, and he doesn’t do it for fun. Those guys suck period. I feel bad for him.
    And yes the Pats and Steelers deal with the media differently under Belichick and Tomlin…..hows that working out for each team?

  46. From a distance, it sure does appear Ben is afraid of any actual competition. He plays terrible away from home, and not every playoff game is on your own turf. Buckle up cupcake, sounds like the writing may be “On the wall” as they say.

  47. The Steelers drafted value vs need. It’s a pretty common result for them. I had seen Mock drafts where Rudolph was projected a late day 1 pick, to get him as a mid/late 3rd round talent was wise. A 3rd round pick with that kind of upside is always worth picking.

  48. The only thing for which Ben has fire is eating another dozen donuts. Ben nor any of the Steelers will even make it to another SB as long as Mike Tomlin is at the helm. Ben knows it. The team knows it. And you know it too.

    You have no idea what I know, but let me help you but you have to put your Doritos down and truly listen. You have a hatred for all things Steelers that borders on the absurd and while once cute it’s now just evidence of an unstable juvenile mind in need of help and direction in their life.

    Ben is not interested in more money he just wants another ring and wants all the tools he can to help and if donuts do it so what….

  49. Tom Brady hasn’t brought confusion to the Patriots. Please remind me whether he was the one to bench Malcolm Butler for the Super Bowl.

  50. Ben gets off on saying I told you so after the fact. He makes all sorts of passive aggressive statements to the media as his way of thumbing through the team when something hallens Jen doesn’t like and is frankly a bore. Ben definitely wants more cash, his current deal doesn’t look nearly as good as some of the current deals lesser qb’s have recently gotten. Plus he doesn’t want to leave Pitt at this stage of his career so yeah, him crying and being vocal is all about him trying to get the team to shut him up with more money. Like I said he shot him self in the foot with those back to back allegations which really put a damper on his long term endorsement deals. He’s damn lucky this all happened before the #metoo movement or he would be on the outs. Pitt is looking for his replacements and not a backup and if he now has olanned in playing fir anither 5 years he’s going to have to annually compete for his job and also prove to the brads that he is worth the hefty price tag.

  51. Rant? what rant. He was being interviewed and answering questions
    after an important draft was just completed. He gave his candid thoughts
    on the matter.

    Since when has answering a question honestly become something
    to be ridiculed? It’s like now we expect all people to hide, or even worse,
    to lie about how they feel or thinks about a topic and about all things. .
    Are you all so upset that Ben didn’t lie, deflect, distract or cover up
    well enough ?

    It’s a crazy time we live in. How cynical and hateful we’ve become.

    Ben can choose not to censor himself if he wants, he has earned
    that right. It’s too bad sheeple are so taken aback by his comments.
    The media continues to run this narrative that Ben has been continually
    threatening to retire, which is not true. He hasn’t.

    He should, but he hasn’t yet asked to be compensated commensurate
    to what the market is for a franchise QB and one of the best in the game.

    Ben wants to win now while the team is close. The Steelers drafted to their
    board. Both are the right approaches from their individual points of view.
    But haters gotta hate, right? Stay cynical, my friends.

  52. tazman1996 says:
    From a distance, it sure does appear Ben is afraid of any actual competition.

    From a distance, I’d say you are myopic if you believe Ben fears for his job
    from a 3rd round rookie who has his own faults to correct, before he even
    sees the field. Rudolf is a good prospect with lot of potential, but
    he is nowhere near the elevated strata at which Ben plays at.

    You might want to take a closer look.

  53. “Since then, he’s been Tebowed, Flaccoed, Manninghandled, Bradied, and now Bortled”

    Now that’s freaking hilarious.

  54. I agree completely with what Ben said. Who’s playing linebacker this year? Ben made a comment once 2 years ago and everyone keeps saying he talks about retiring all the time, he also put up 42 points against that great jags defense so he’s not the reason they lost to the jags, anyone that watches steeler football realizes the defense sucks and until that gets changed we’re not winning anything

  55. takeyourpunishmentandquitwhininglikeababy says:
    May 8, 2018 at 11:53 am
    I can’t believe Little Ben is still whining about Mason Rudolph. How much attention does he need? He had his chance to go to the Superbowl but instead, he let the Jaguars clown stomp him. And blaming it on Haley is just sad. Haley wasn’t out there throwing picks. Ben should be glad his team faced the two worst Superbowl teams in history and managed to squeak by both times. Since then, he’s been Tebowed, Flaccoed, Manninghandled, Bradied, and now Bortled. Give it up and quit complaining

    ================================================

    wow. normally you are just trolling a pats article with outlandish claims with no factual evidence, but this response is dead on. im amazed that something you said made actual sense.

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