Scott Brown | ESPN.com
“It’s ridiculous,” Roethlisberger said after Sunday’s 23-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills. “This is where I’ve always wanted to be. I don’t want to play for anyone else.
When it comes to wanting to go somewhere else or anything like that, that’s completely unacceptable. It’s one of the most B.S. stories I’ve ever heard. I’m not quitting, and that means in more ways than one. I’m not quitting on anything, this season, this team, these fans. I’m going to give it everything I have. This is home.
— Ben Roethlisberger, refuting NFL.com report that he will ask to be traded
“I’m a Pittsburgher — this is home. I’m proud to raise my kids here. I don’t want to play for anyone else.”
NFL.com reported earlier Sunday that the Steelers expect Roethlisberger — so disenchanted about the direction of the franchise — to ask the team to explore trade possibilities for him in the offseason, something it did this past offseason, too.
Steelers president Art Rooney II issued a statement that called the report “erroneous” and claimed that the team has “not explored” trading Roethlisberger and has no plans to do so.
Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger’s agent, also refuted the report shortly after it surfaced in a series of tweets.
“This is completely wrong and inaccurate,” Tollner said. “Ben has always said he wants to play his entire career for the Steelers, and his roots are set firmly in Pittsburgh. He has a lot left in the tank and is 100 percent committed to winning more championships with the Steelers.”
But Roethlisberger served up the strongest repudiation of the report. He seemed to take it personally that anyone would think he wanted to bail out on the Steelers, the franchise he helped lead to a pair of Super Bowl victories.
“When it comes to wanting to go somewhere else or anything like that, that’s completely unacceptable,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s one of the most B.S. stories I’ve ever heard.
“I’m not quitting, and that means in more ways than one. I’m not quitting on anything, this season, this team, these fans. I’m going to give it everything I have. This is home.”
Roethlisberger said his wanting out of Pittsburgh is so far from the truth that Tollner, who is also a close friend of his, did not even talk to Roethlisberger before issuing his unequivocal denial of the report.
“He knows exactly how I feel, and how I don’t want to go anywhere,” Roethlisberger said.
Defensive end Brett Keisel said he thinks Roethlisberger will play his entire career in Pittsburgh, which improved to 3-6 with Sunday’s victory.
“He’s a Steeler,” said Keisel, one of Roethlisberger’s closest friends on the team. “It’s funny how those rumors start. Rumors are just that.”
- Covered Steelers for six years for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Author of five books, including “Heaven Sent: The Heather Miller Story,” which highlights the friendship a young girl with cancer developed with several Steelers players