PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger isn’t going anywhere. Not if he has anything to say about it.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback called a report he may seek a trade in the offseason “ridiculous.”
NFL.com reported early Sunday the Steelers expected Roethlisberger to ask the team to explore trade options in the offseason. Roethlisberger’s agent, Ryan Tollner, called the speculation “completely wrong” and added the 31-year-old quarterback is “100 percent committed to winning a championship with the Steelers.”
Roethlisberger went even further after passing for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 23-10 win over Buffalo on Sunday.
“I don’t know where that came from,” he said. “It is one of the most (untrue) stories that I’ve ever heard of. I’ve always said that I want to be a Steeler for life. I love it here. I’m happy here.”
The report called Roethlisberger “very frustrated” by his team’s ugly start. The Steelers improved to 3-6 after drumming the Bills, but still remain well out of the mix in the AFC North.
Roethlisberger, who has won two Super Bowls in 10 seasons, agreed he’s “unhappy” when Pittsburgh fails to produce, but welcomed his share of the blame. Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have struggled to communicate at times since Haley was hired nearly two years ago. The quarterback and the coach have been trying to find common ground.
Steelers president Art Rooney II added “the Pittsburgh Steelers have not explored trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and have no plans to do so.”
Roethlisberger’s current contract will expire at the end of the 2015 season. He is due a base salary of $12.1 million next season, with a salary cap number of nearly $19 million.
That alone could make it difficult for the Steelers to move Roethlisberger even if there was interest.
Apparently, there’s not. Tollner said Roethlisberger’s roots are “firmly” planted in western Pennsylvania.
Roethlisberger and his wife are expecting their second child next spring.
“I’m a Pittsburgher,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ve told people that. I’m so proud to raise my kids here. 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.”