There’s an increasing level of buzz doing the rounds that the Cardinals will select quarterback Kyler Murray with the number one pick. Chances are, this would mean an abrupt end to the career of Josh Rosen in Arizona as one would expect the Cardinals to trade him away to get more draft picks and solidify their game plan around a very different QB in Murray.
Now it has to be said, this is by no means a done deal. The rumour of new head coach Kliff Kingsbury doing the rounds at the combine saying ‘it’s a done deal’ in relation to the Cardinals selecting Murray could just be an elaborate smoke screen to lull people into trading into the spot. Chances are, we’ll not actually know until draft day itself. The only way we would is if Rosen were traded away before the draft (the window for signing free agents and actioning trades begins on 13th March), however, I would expect the NFL to put serious pressure on the Cardinals not to do anything before the draft starts, less it takes away from the drama of the draft itself.
If Murray is selected and Rosen is added to the trade block then several teams would be interested. Peter King reported earlier this week that some thought that Rosen would warrant only a third round pick in a trade. This would be a massive loss for the Cardinals who had to move up in the first round of the draft last year to get Rosen. Irrespective of that, I wanted to take a look at which teams would be interested in acquiring the talents of Rosen, who was a consensus first round talent this time last year.
What makes Rosen even more attractive is his contract. A team acquiring him would only have to pay $6m over the next three years after the Cardinals paid a bulk of the $17m deal in the first season. Even if Rosen were to be a backup, this would be sensible money, for a potential starter it’s a great deal! Couple that with a fifth year option as a former first round pick then this is an even better deal!
New York Giants
Much has been made about the Giants’ decision to take a running back rather than a quarterback with the second pick of the draft last year. Saquon Barkley proved to be pretty decent but there are still murmurs about not having a suitable successor to Eli Manning. If rumours are to be believed, the Giants wouldn’t even need to give up the No.6 pick to get him – a second round pick would be enough and that would likely constitute a good deal by GM Dave Gettleman. Rosen would have an improved team around him compared to what he had in Arizona, specifically a two decent wide receivers, a developing tight end and an offensive rookie of the year at running back. The only concern might be the O-Line, but that could be improved through the draft.
This almost makes too much sense. The Redskins are hampered by the big contract that Alex Smith has who won’t be playing in 2019 during the to the gruesome injury he sustained last year. That means that the Redskins either need to play a sub-standard low paid quarterback (Colt McCoy), bring in a rookie (likely needing to trade up in the draft to do so) or trade for Rosen. Rosen’s contract alone is enough to make this a worthwhile deal for the Redskins. Couple that though with a good O-Line (when healthy) and a few select pieces to be added at receiver then this could be a great match up.
This seems less likely as it looks as though the Dolphins are preparing to tank in order to rebuild and have a high pick in 2020, though the whole Rosen thing might cause them to change course. The Dolphins were thought to be considering one of the top quarterbacks in last years draft, it might be a case of dusting off the Rosen scouting notes and seeing if he’d be a fit with the system that new head coach Brian Flores wants to run.
New England Patriots
Yes he’s just won his sixth Super Bowl ring. And yes, he’s had doubters for years now but he keeps going. But he can’t go on forever (right?), so bringing in potential successor to Tom Brady and a relatively low cost would be a very “Patriots” move to make. Remembering that any team could have him for four more years without the need to renegotiate, Rosen could have 2-3 years playing second fiddle to Brady before moving into the starting slot once the GOAT bows out of the game.
Much like the Patriots (and the Giants), this would be a move to ensure that there’s an adequate succession plan in place for when Philip Rivers eventually breaks down. Like the Patriots, it might not be under consideration without the price of acquiring Rosen representing such good value. Also, like the Patriots, Rosen plays in a similar way to their current quarterback so transition, handled well, could be quite smooth.