STEELERS INTERESTED IN PORTER, MOSS

A league source tells us that the Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in trading for Raiders receivers Jerry Porter and Randy Moss.

We're told that the Steelers prefer Porter, primarily because he would come with a lower salary and less of a media circus.

Due to a contract that was heavy on bonus money, Porter's salary is only $1 million per year through 2009. Published reports indicate that the Raiders want Porter to refund $4 million of his eight-figure million signing bonus in exchange for his freedom.

Moss is signed through 2008, at salaries of $9.75 million and $11.25 million in each of the next two seasons.

Per the source, the Steelers believe that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's poor start has more to do with a less-than-impressive receiving corps than his June 12 trampoline routine off of a Chrysler. Hines Ward has a bad hamstring, Santurdio is inexperienced, Nate Washington is still growing into his role, and Cedrick Wilson is regarded within the building as soft.

So can a trade go down by the league's October 17 deadline? A lot would have to happen. But with the Steelers interested in either guy, they might be in the best position to get one of them.

And although the prevailing thinking is that any deal would involve one or more draft picks flowing out of Pittsburgh, we wouldn't be surprised to hear the name "Joey Porter" arise in any eventual trade talks. Porter has been unhappy with his salary, and there's a growing school of thought that Porter's desire to get paid has prompted him to abandon any genuine efforts to be a team leader.