Editor’s Note: This article was written before the Olivier Vernon trade. This article features Vernon in a mock trade involving the New York Giants.
After a crazy weekend, one of the biggest rumors coming out of the NFL combine is that the Arizona Cardinals are shopping Josh Rosen. One year after selecting Rosen in the first round of the draft, the Cardinals seem to be heading in a different direction. These rumors are only strengthening.
After the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury as their head coach, people pulled clips from an interview that featured Kingsbury saying that, if he had the first pick in the draft, he would select Kyler Murray. Now that Kingsbury is the top guy in Arizona, he has the chance to pick his guy to build around.
Let’s look at some teams that could look into trading for Rosen. We will also look at what a trade may look like, as trading a sophomore first-rounder is not commonplace in the NFL, especially when the team losing the quarterback is going to turn around and draft a rookie.
The Redskins may be the neediest team on the list. Their starter, Alex Smith, is going to miss the whole year after that gruesome leg injury. If the season started today, their started would be Case Keenum. Would Rosen be an upgrade over Keenum? Probably. But you also have to factor in age. Rosen has a vast career ahead of him, while Keenum could hang ’em up in a year or two.
Rosen showed some promise while playing last season but also had a lot of improvements to be made.
Currently, the Redskins hold the 15th pick in the draft. This year’s quarterback class is considered weak compared to last year’s, or even the group coming out next year. There might not be a quarterback that would be available for Washington at No. 15, so they should consider trading for Rosen.
Theoretical trade: Cardinals acquire 2019 2nd-round pick (No. 46) from the Washington Redskins in exchange for QB Josh Rosen.
The Dolphins are starting a new regime under Brian Flores and are reportedly set to be looking for a new quarterback, moving on from Ryan Tannehill. Making a move for Rosen would allow that flexibility.
Currently, the Dolphins hold the 13th pick in the draft. Tannehill never really showed improvement over his NFL career; he is who he is. Similar to Washington, the top two quarterbacks may be gone by the time the Dolphins pick, so, barring any trade up, Rosen could be in their sights.
Theoretical trade: Cardinals acquire 2019 2nd-round pick (No. 48) from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for QB Josh Rosen.
New York Giants
Eli Manning is not getting any younger. The Giants are in need of some sort of injection at the quarterback position. They keep drafting guys in the fourth and fifth rounds, hoping they turn out. Looking at history, that doesn’t work.
Currently, the Giants hold the sixth overall pick in the draft. While I don’t see them trading the sixth pick which would be the right move they need a QB. The Giants had a chance to draft a QB last year but choose to draft RB instead. This would give them a chance to get a young QB to sit under Manning for a year and develop.
Theoretical trade: Cardinals acquire DE Olivier Vernon and a 2019 4th-round pick (No. 108) from the New York Giants in exchange for QB Josh Rosen and a 2019 5th-round pick (No. 139).
New Orleans Saints
But the Saints have Drew Brees, why would they want Rosen?
Well, Brees can’t play forever, and head coach Sean Payton has been looking for a replacement this past season with Teddy Bridgewater. The Saints traded their third-rounder to the New York Jets, but that may not work out for the Saints, as Bridgewater is a free agent.
Currently, the Saints don’t have a first-round pick, so their top pick is No. 62. That won’t be enough to get the Cardinals to trade Rosen. But, if you look at the history of the Saints, they are not afraid to trade future picks.
Theoretical trade: Cardinals acquire 2020 2nd-round pick from the Washington Redskins in exchange for QB Josh Rosen.
New England Patriots
Of course, the Patriots are on the list. Any time there are trade rumors in the league, the Patriots are there. Tom Brady is their future-Hall of Fame quarterback, but father time will catch up to him. Over the past five years, the Patriots have been drafting quarterbacks and trading them away because they have Brady.
Currently, the Patriots hold the 32nd selection in the draft. Would the Patriots be willing to trade that pick? Probably not.
Brady is returning and the team will be eyeing another Super Bowl before their window may close.
Theoretical trade: Cardinals acquire 2019 2nd-round pick (No. 64) and 2019 6th-round pick (No. 205) from the Washington Redskins in exchange for QB Josh Rosen.
There are some of the teams that may be interested in trading for Rosen, and what a trade may look like. This may be the first significant time that a team drafted a quarterback in the first round and traded him the next season so they could draft a newbie.