Cardinals QB Rosen to SI: Trade talk ‘annoying but … football’s a business’
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen showed up to conditioning workouts — first.
He’s a few weeks into installs of Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, picking it up quickly, the first-year head coach said Tuesday. By all accounts, the assumption that Arizona will draft quarterback Kyler Murray first in the NFL Draft and trade Rosen haven’t affected the second-year pro’s attitude or focus.
But in a pre-camp trip to the Grand Canyon where Sports Illustrated TV tagged along with Rosen and his friends, the quarterback did admit the trade rumors about his uncertain future are a tad annoying, if nothing else.
“I think when people talk about, like, you can’t listen to criticism or you can’t read articles, you have to be aware of what’s going on to a certain extent,” the quarterback said. “I definitely understand the situation. It’s annoying but it is what it is — football’s a business. I definitely respect the higher-ups and their decisions.
“I think the best advice I’ve gotten in life from so many different people is control what you can control. Whatever decision is made, it’s my duty to prove them right if they keep me and prove them wrong if they ship me off.”
Rosen was viewed as the face of the franchise just three games into last season.
As Arizona tumbled to a 3-13 record by the end of the year, his 2,278 yards, completion percentage of 55% and touchdown-to-interception ratio of 11-to-14 sank some belief in his future, even if he was playing without talent around him or stability under two offensive coordinators.
Still, the Cardinals showed a commitment to Rosen in their actions following the season.
They fired head coach Steve Wilks after his first year on the job and hired Kingsbury in January. At that point, it was unlikely either the Cardinals or Kingsbury believed that anyone but Rosen would be their starting quarterback to begin 2019.
Things changed when Murray decided to leave Oklahoma, not for a pro baseball career, but for an NFL future.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and Kingsbury haven’t pushed back against the idea they could draft a quarterback with their No. 1 pick. At the NFL Draft Combine, Keim infamously dropped a key qualifier when answering whether Rosen was the team’s quarterback.
“Yeah, he is right now, for sure,” Keim said.
During Keim’s last time in front of microphones before the NFL Draft, he made it clear that he never said whether Arizona would be open to drafting a quarterback — he also made it clear he never said they wouldn’t be.
The GM did make sure to compliment Rosen handling the situation in stride.
“We’ve had good dialog. He is a pro’s pro, and the one thing that I’ve appreciated about him the most since we’ve drafted him, the kid has an unbelievable amount of mental toughness,” Keim said on Tuesday. “Physical toughness, mental toughness, Josh Rosen has it all.”
Rosen hasn’t been made available to the media since Cardinals conditioning workouts began last week. Whether you believe that Keim’s gushing was more about Rosen’s trade value or not, it seems from afar that team and player are in a good place.
As it stands, both parties are going about their usual business.
In front of Sports Illustrated cameras, Rosen did make one thing clear: He wants to play and he wants to win, wherever he ends up.
“I think this (past) season went as poorly as it could possibly go, but within that, I had an unbelievable time,” the quarterback said.
“We won three games and each one of those wins, to me it felt like we won the Super Bowl. That feeling is so intoxicating, and that’s why I just want nothing more to be part of a team next year and have the same opportunities to go out and compete.”