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Old 01-16-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
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Default Ben Almost Drafted By Giants In 2004

For those vexed about the shortcomings of the Steelers QB, this nugget from Peter King's MMQB column this morning recalls how Ben almost was drafted by the Giants

What would have happened if Ernie Accorsi hadn't had such a backbone on April 24, 2004? And what would have happened if A.J. Smith had played hardball with Accorsi as the clock wound down on the fourth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, with just seven minutes to go and the Giants on the clock?

Ben Roethlisberger a Giant.

Osi Umenyiora (not Shawne Merriman) a Charger.

Eli Manning a Charger.

Smith, the Chargers' rookie GM at the time, asked then-Giants GM Accorsi for unknown second-year pass-rusher Umenyiora in the week before the draft. No, Accorsi said; I don't trade young pass-rushers. San Diego had the first pick in the draft, and Manning said he didn't want to play for San Diego, but the Chargers picked him anyway -- and everyone in football knew they wanted North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers instead; the Manning pick was going to force the Giants to deal a ransom for him because Accorsi loved Manning and Smith knew it. So with the Giants on the clock, Smith called again.

"He brought up Umenyiora again,'' Accorsi told me last night, "and I said no. We were not giving him up. There was no way.''

So now the trade teetered. If Smith had insisted on Umenyiora and killed the deal, Accorsi had an ace up his sleeve: He could trade down three spots and pick up a second-round pick from Cleveland ... and still draft the Giants' No. 2 quarterback on the board, Ben Roethlisberger from Miami of Ohio. The Giants liked Manning much more, but Accorsi wouldn't budge on Umenyiora. Accorsi offered the Giants' first- and third-round picks in '04, and an '05 first-rounder. "We still want Osi,'' Smith told him.

Tick, tick, tick ...

Two minutes left.

Accorsi's last, best offer.

"No Osi,'' he said. "That's still a deal-breaker. But we'll throw in a six next year.''

Pause on the line from San Diego.

Tick, tick, tick ...

"Make it a four,'' Smith said.

"I'll give you a five,'' Accorsi said.



That was a close call. I know Cowher adored Phillip Rivers but I doubt Rivers would have been around by the time the Steelers could have picked him. I have no doubt the Steelers would not have won two more Lombardis and three AFC Championships if they had not drafted a franchise QB in 2004.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ben Almost Drafted By Giants In 2004

I liked the insight, but the reality is if you change one component of a team, especially a part with as much influence as a QB then the whole team changes. Who knows we might be singing Rivers praises as our 3-time winning QB, the Patriots go undefeated after beating the Ben led Giants, and Eli is still looking for his first Super Bowl. Lot of scenarios in the "what if" game.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ben Almost Drafted By Giants In 2004

I agree we would not have had those 2 recent SB championships without Ben. Very few QB would have been able to be hit as often as Ben is due to our poor OL and still play.
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ben Almost Drafted By Giants In 2004

wasn't Cowher also in love with the OT Shawn Andrews? man, that could have turned out scary.. draft Andrews and sign a free agent like Tim Couch. i don't think Cowher would have lasted beyond 2004 if that had happened.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ben Almost Drafted By Giants In 2004

Wasnt it Eli that refused to go to Chargers?

Might as well dress em in skirts!
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ben Almost Drafted By Giants In 2004

Originally Posted by stb_steeler View Post
Wasnt it Eli that refused to go to Chargers?
Yeah. A big reason why I don't like him in fact. I think he's matured since then and he's on my good side because the Giants ruined the Patriots but that was lame.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ben Almost Drafted By Giants In 2004

Damn, scary. This team wouldn't have one anything without Ben. The team in general was solid before Ben but without a QB who has the second highest playoff when percentage, who can play behind a terrible line and still be in most peoples top 5, we wouldn't have won a SB in the 2000's. We would have had a Maddox or Tim Couch type QB that the defense would carry to the wild card round only to be sent home due to the offense scoring 10 points.
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