The Browns are one of seven teams the Pittsburgh Steelers have called regarding a trade for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported via Twitter.
According to Schefter's Twitter, the list also includes the Rams, 49ers, Raiders, Bills, Jaguars and Seahawks. Schefter said the Steelers are seeking a top 10 draft pick for the quarterback, suspended by the NFL for six games Wednesday for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said Roethlisberger must also undergo a
comprehensive behavorial evaluation. Roethlisberger was not charged in a recent incident of alleged sexual assault in Georgia.
It seems stunning that the Steelers would consider sending Roethlisberger to a division opponent like the Browns. Perhaps their No. 7 pick was the lure, which the Steelers could use to select Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.
If I were Browns president Mike Holmgren, I'd make the deal in a heartbeat. Yes, Roethlisberger is the hated enemy. Yes, he seems to have a serious character flaw that needs rehabilitation.
But the Browns took the lead with their Inner Circle program in the 1980s. Former coach Sam Rutigliano once hinted of the major players it included.
Roethlisberger needs a fresh start and the right man for the reclamation might be Holmgren. Holmgren is a religious man who believes in helping players battle their demons if they are not cancers in the locker room.
Roethlisberger is a major talent. He ranked fifth in the league in passing last season (100.5 rating) and his career rating is 91.7. He threw 26 touchdown passes with 12 interceptions in 2009; his totals are 127 and 81 for his career.
He's 28 years old. He's a Findlay, Ohio native. He's won two Super Bowls. The Browns last NFL championship came in 1964. The lure of a Super Bowl triumph, sooner rather than later, should not be quickly dismissed.