Arizona Cardinals trade QB Josh Rosen to Dolphins for 2nd-round pick
The Arizona Cardinals traded quarterback Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins for the 62nd selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Arizona also received a 2020 fifth-round pick.
The trade comes during day two of the draft, one day after the Cardinals selected quarterback Kyler Murray No. 1 overall. With the 62nd selection, the team took UMass wide receiver Andy Isabella.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Thursday night he was reluctant to watch Murray’s tape, knowing the possibility he would fall in love with the prospect and potentially have to put Rosen’s status on the team in jeopardy.
But Keim did not say Thursday night that meant the end of Rosen’s time in Arizona.
“The bottom line is Josh is a really good football player and we’re not going to get in the business of just letting good football players walk out of here,” he said.
Keim cited research the Cardinals did in the value of backup quarterbacks and his recent examples of dealing with a lack of depth at quarterback in the team’s 2014 playoff run.
“Attrition is real and you never know when you’re gonna need another [quarterback],” Keim said.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he had a conversation with Rosen over the phone before the Murray pick was made on Thursday.
Rosen unfollowed the team’s social media pages on Friday, a move that was met with criticism.
The Cardinals traded up five spots to take Rosen in the 2018 NFL Draft and selected him with the 10th overall pick. But after one season, Arizona is moving on.
Just three games into his rookie year, Rosen made his debut late in a game while replacing veteran Sam Bradford. From then on, he was viewed as the face of the franchise.
As Arizona tumbled to a 3-13 record by the end of the year, his 2,278 yards, 55% of passes completed 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.
Keim and Kingsbury didn’t push 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. “Physical toughness, mental toughness, Josh Rosen has it all.”
Rosen wasn’t made available to the media during Cardinals conditioning workouts and voluntary mini-camp. Whether you believe that Keim’s gushing was more about Rosen’s trade value or not, it seemed from afar that team and player were in a good place.
Rosen’s lone public comments through the process were to Sports Illustrated, where he admitted the situation was getting to him a little bit.
“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.”