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Cardinals Call Steelers about Roethlisberger

UPDATE:Ken Whisenhunt weighed in on the Roethlisberger rumors after questioning from Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ official website.  The quote doesn’t shed much light on the subject, but Whisenhunt can’t really talk about dealings/discussions regarding a signed player for fear of tampering charges.  In any event here’s the quote:

It seems like you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that hasn’t been linked to (Roethlisberger interest).  At this time of year there’s no shortage of information and misinformation flying around; who teams are interested in drafting, who they’re not, who’s gonna be traded, etc.  From our standpoint, it doesn’t seem to make sense to publicly comment on which rumors are fact and which are fiction but I can tell you there’s a fair amount of each.”

I maintain that I won’t have to eat my words, but ESPN NFL insider John Clayton reports that the Cardinals called the Steelers to inquire about the much maligned Ben Roethlisberger; I have no idea why.

Clayton joined Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug & Wolf today (Thursday) from the site of the NFL Draft in NYC (which is a mere six streets away from where I currently sit on 44th and 6th).   Clayton clarified what he knows about the call by explaining that “the Cardinals did check in.  They called and made communication.  They did not make a real offer that is going to get anything done and I don’t even know if it got to the offer stage.”  Exactly how far the talk progressed and whether any other action is planned is unknown.

Clayton thinks that that Whisenhunt’s prior experience with Roethlisberger is the reason why they placed the call.  The Cards’ current head coach was in Pittsburgh when they drafted Ben as the 10th overall pick in 2004.  Pittsburgh is reportedly looking for a top 10 pick in this year’s Draft in exchange for their “franchise” signal caller.  At this point, however, the Cards only have the 26th overall pick to offer in the first round. 

I must confess that I sincerely hope the Cardinals don’t come anywhere near Roethlisberger.  Whether he is innocent or guilty of sexual assault or rape, he is immature and a poor leader.  He may be cleared from prosecution in a court of law (though he still has a civil suit pending), but in the court of public opinion, common sense, and decency he is guilty as charged.  It’s amazing to think that Arizona would even consider Roethlisberger after Leinart received so much heat for partying in a hot tub with coeds.  At some point, winning can’t be the only thing that matters.  Picking up Roethlisberger would send a terrible message; to wit “we think it’s a good idea to pick up damaged goods that another organization could not hold on to in good conscience.”

I must also admit, however, that Pittsburgh’s number seven is without question a more accomplished quarterback than our number seven; it’s not even close.  Roethlisberger’s  a proven winner, though the Steelers won the first their last two Super Bowls in spite of Big Ben’s performance.  Talent aside, picking up Roethlisberger is a bad move.  All this torch and pitchfork waving is 95% unnecessary, though.  I don’t see how the Cardinals could get this done even if they wanted to.

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