With the NFL draft only hours away, the rumors of a Josh Rosen trade continue to percolate. The Arizona Cardinals will trade Rosen if they take Kyler Murray first overall tonight. The Patriots should strike if that happens. Here are some reasons why he would be worth it, what has gone wrong, and what it would take.
Josh Rosen The Prospect
What made Rosen a top 10 pick last year? Here are his college stats from Sports Reference:
Keep in mind, Tom Brady never threw more than 16 TDs in any year, and finished with a 134.9 career rating at Michigan. This is the kind of performance that can get you in the upper tier of NFL prospects.
Josh Rosen stepped into a Pro Style offense at UCLA and performed right away as a Freshman. After some injuries his Sophomore year, he got right back to it as a Junior. The guy is a tremendous talent. Here is what an anonymous coach told NJ Advanced Media:
“He’s polished,” the coach said. “He stayed healthy when he was just getting killed out there. He’s a natural passer and he’s athletic.”
All looked good for a transition to the NFL, so what happened?
A Lost Year With The Cardinals
Josh Rosen had a terrible year. That goes without saying. 11 TDs, 14 Ints, and a 66.7 rating. The Cardinals wouldn’t have the #1 pick in this year’s draft without Rosen having a terrible year.
When things go wrong like this, explanations must be given. Here’s one talking about him being ‘too smart for his own good‘. But there’s also this quote within the story from an anonymous Cardinals player:
The player said that Rosen is a good guy despite persistent murmurs that he’s a bad teammate. The player said that Rosen is a different guy, however, with a “f*** it” attitude when he makes a mistake.
That sounds like a player who could go wrong in a bad situation, like the 2018 Arizona Cardinals. It also sounds like someone who has a hard edge that would fit right in with Belichick and Brady.
Trade & Salary Cap
No less an authority than Peter King has weighed in on this topic:
Suppose my mock is correct, and Washington and the Giants use the draft to take young quarterbacks, and Miami and the Chargers are the only teams with even some interest in Rosen, and GM Chris Grier tells Arizona GM Steve Keim on draft night: “We’ll give you our third-round pick—78 overall—for Rosen. That’s it.” Tough call for Keim, but knowing Rosen would be an unhappy camper behind Kyler Murray, and figuring this is a good depth draft in the first three rounds … well, that’s a lot to think about right there.
That’s a lot of moving parts, but he posits that a third round pick would do it. The Patriots have 12 draft picks in this year’s draft. Every Pats’ fan knows the Patriots are not going to make 12 picks. Within those, there is a first rounder (#32), two second rounders (#56 and #64), and a third rounder (#73). More than enough ammunition to get this done.
As for the cap, Overthecap.com shows how affordable he is. $17 Million total through 2022. That comes out to around $4.4 Million per year. Gotta love first contracts in the NFL. If he is what many think he is, worthy of a first round pick and on a cheap contract, the potential successor to Tom Brady, it’s a no-brainer.
And Brady will be 45 in August of 2022, just in time for Rosen to get paid. Hmm.
There are a lot of ping pong rumors going around. There’s this:
But news out of Arizona is the Patriots are still considered in on Rosen. It’s fairly certain that a move like this would not leak out, so of course it’s all speculation. The Patriots keep player transactions close to the vest. Think about the Garoppolo trade, the Collins trade, the Moss trade, the Gilmore contract, it goes on and on.
Rosen is reportedly tough, smart, and not willing to sit behind a 2019 rookie. But would he sit and learn from the GOAT? If the answer is yes, the Patriots should do this.
Plus, they might get to stick it to the Giants. Bill loves that kind of thing.
Featured picture via USA Today/SI.