Analysis  

 

Josh Rosen trade destinations? Five NFL teams that make sense

Print

Where is Josh Rosen going to play next season? Because nobody believes he'll still be on the Arizona Cardinals, right?

My colleague, Charley Casserly, reported on Tuesday that Arizona is indeed shopping Rosen. That's no surprise to my guys Peter Schrager and Daniel Jeremiah, who both seem convinced the franchise will draft Kyler Murray No. 1 overall. New Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has tried to walk back previous praise of the former Oklahoma quarterback, but it sure feels like he's merely being polite to his current quarterback -- and ready to pounce on the draft prospect at a moment's notice. Like, Hey, I'm friends with you because you're the boyfriend of my sister, but I can't wait to S-talk you once you two break up. And Cards GM Steve Keim provided quite a qualifier when he discussed Rosen's status last week at the NFL Scouting Combine:

"Is Josh Rosen our quarterback?" Keim said to the assembled press in Indianapolis. "Yeah, he is, right now, for sure."

Right now?! Well alright then.

So, it appears Rosen could definitely be on his way out of Arizona. And with that in mind, I would like to present you with the top five teams that should trade for Rosen. Because I'm still a big believer that last year's No. 10 overall pick can be a more-than-productive quarterback at the NFL level. Here's the list, presented in countdown style:

DISHONORABLE MENTION: Denver Broncos. Why were the Broncos in such a hurry to acquire Joe Flacco? The rest of the NFL is playing on an Xbox One, and John Elway picked up an old Nintendo at a garage sale, unsure if it'll work. (And I'm talkin' old-school NES from the 1990s -- not the Switch, nerds.) Rosen seems like the perfect quarterback for Elway. So while I wouldn't completely rule the Broncos out, I'm leaving them off the official list.

5) New England Patriots

Who am I kidding -- this is where he's going, right? The Patriots have a bevy of picks in the coming draft, including six in the first three rounds. New England was reportedly interested in Rosen prior to the 2018 NFL Draft. And this is the way things work out for this team. They take discarded players and turn them into superstars. It's like a boutique clothing shop in L.A. that takes items from Goodwill and then charges three times the price because they're "vintage." For that reason, I'm already going to pencil Rosen in as Super Bowl LVIII MVP.

And since I'm here, let me just go ahead and lump in the Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints, as well. Two teams with older and (how do I put this politely?) less mobile signal-callers who could use a QB of the future/insurance policy if anything should happen. In fact, I might argue that acquiring Rosen would be more sensible for teams in this position, as opposed to organizations desperate for an immediate starter. I'm not saying Rosen's a "project," but it might be good for him to take a breath after a trying rookie season on an overmatched Arizona squad.

Oh, and I'm not including the Steelers because, let's be honest, Rosen learning from Ben Roethlisberger doesn't seem like an ideal sitch. (Mason Rudolph, anyone?) Like the Steelers don't already have enough drama?

4) Washington Redskins

Some of the most ardent Washington fans might point out that the team was 6-3 at one point last year. Still, by the end of the regular season, just three teams had scored fewer points than the Redskins. Injuries obviously were a factor -- in fact, the gruesome compound leg fracture that sidelined Alex Smith in Week 11 appears likely to cost the veteran quarterback the entire 2019 season, as well. So, Washington could really use some stability at the position. I know Jay Gruden has said he would be happy to go with Colt McCoy. I don't believe that. (It's kind of like when your wife says that it's totally fine that you're eating Valentine's Day dinner at Del Taco. Don't believe it. I mean, my wife is cool with it, but I digress.) Here's the thing, though: The Redskins also have offensive needs at tackle, guard and wide receiver, so it's not like a quarterback is instantly going to make the team a legit contender. But it's a good place to start. Trade for Rosen, draft some linemen and you're on your way.

3) Miami Dolphins

I'm assuming that, yes, the Dolphins will move on from Ryan Tannehill. Honestly, that'd be the best thing for both parties. Tannehill strikes the figure of a reliable backup. And new coach Brian Flores shouldn't be saddled with a signal-caller from the previous regime. New offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea follows Flores from the Patriots' coaching staff, after he spent a decade in New England as wide receivers coach. Consequently, we don't have much information on what type of offense the new-look Dolphins will run, but come on: O'Shea's going to run some (all?) of the Patriots' concepts. If New England (reportedly) thought Rosen was a fit one year ago, there is no doubt Flores and O'Shea will feel the same. Because if the Pats were giving serious consideration to Rosen last year, there is no doubt O'Shea was involved in those conversations. And besides, you need to make this move to keep him from going to New England. Could you imagine the indignity of having to face Rosen and the Patriots during your tenure as Dolphins head coach? But what am I saying? Of course that's going to happen.

2) Jacksonville Jaguars

The Blake Bortles era is over. And I feel for Jason Mendoza and the writers of "The Good Place" on NBC. But it might be for the best. The Jaguars, however, find themselves in an interesting situation. They are the apparent front-runners to land Nick Foles. But should they be? I'll be honest (not that I haven't been honest to this point): I would rather make a trade for Rosen. Yes, his rookie year was a disaster, but I'm not going to give up on him. That environment in Arizona was a nightmare for a rookie QB, and the guy just turned 22, for heaven's sake. Foles was amazing the last two years with the Eagles. He delivered Philly its first Super Bowl title, and its first NFL title since 1960. And you can never take that away from him. It's like my dad always said: "If you want to capture lightning in a bottle twice, I won't stop you. Just don't try to capture yesterday." Well, either my dad said it, or it was Dean Martin from the original "Ocean's 11" (basically the same guy). But the point stands. Besides, it's going to take a lot of money to sign Foles. Rosen is cost-controlled for four more seasons. I'll take the younger guy who won't strip the defensive depth and put you in a salary-cap bind for years to come.

1) New York Giants

This seems like the most obvious fit. Many questioned the Giants' selection of Saquon Barkley in last year's draft -- not because of Barkley himself (he's awesome), but because Big Blue chose to use the second overall pick on a running back instead of snagging a quarterback of the future. The Giants could now have the best of both worlds: a generational running back and a QB to take the torch from 38-year-old Eli Manning. (Although they still wasted a year of Barkley's limited prime, but what's done is done.) I appreciate that the Giants have chosen to remain loyal to Eli for all that he did for the franchise. But dude, just retire his number and let him go into broadcasting. Or the theater. Or whatever. It's time to move on. Let Rosen start this year. Put him together with Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, and I'm here for it. So make it happen, Giants. Or Jags. Or ... you get the picture.

Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @AdamRank.

Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop