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Ben Roethlisberger was nearly drafted by the Cleveland Browns

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This would have had a enormous impact on the Ravens rivalries with both the Browns and the Steelers

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A few months back, I wrote about the Browns quarterback situation, as I was curious how many franchise quarterbacks they had a shot at since they took Tim Couch 1st overal in 1999. Surprisingly, the only two big misses for them were Ben Roethlisberger, who went 11th overall in 2004, and Aaron Rodgers who went 25th overall in 2006, with the Browns choosing at 6th and 3rd respectively those years.

This is relevant today because ESPN published an article today entitled "The Day the Browns passed on Big Ben" which goes through the decision to pass on Roethlisberger in favor of tight end Kellen Winslow. They interviewed Ben, his agent, Browns front office and head coaches from that period, and others involved in the decision and the scouting process.

What would have been if this had gone differently? While Ravens fans respect Ben and enjoy beating him, a world without Roethlisberger in black and gold is enough to make one giddy. The Steelers would not be anywhere near 6 rings, and while he might have been a decent quarterback, I doubt Ben has anywhere near the same success for the Browns organization.

It has worked out swimmingly for the Steelers, despite not feeling QB was a big need in that draft, and the Browns have continued their streak of decisions which range from bad to horrendous for the most part, especially at the quarterback position (3 first rounders, several mid round picks, and still looking...)

They say hindsight is 20/20, and while the Steelers look back on that day in 2004 as an important building block for the next 15 to 20 years, the Browns look at it as the fish that got away and set them back decades.

Now, with the Browns trading out of the 2nd overall draft spot this year and passing on the top quarterbacks in the 2016 draft, only time will tell if this is the latest in their string of bad decisions, or the beginning of setting them on the path to becoming a competitive franchise. If Wentz is a success, this will likely haunt them for years if they continue whiffing on quarterbacks. If he isn't, then this will be looked back on as a great decision, assuming they can capitalize on the additional draft capital.