Was the Cardinals’ Josh Rosen trade to Dolphins about value or belief?

Apr 26, 2019, 9:11 PM | Updated: Apr 27, 2019, 9:53 am
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Trading quarterback Josh Rosen wasn’t about doing it to be done with it, said Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim.

A day after Keim proclaimed the Cardinals couldn’t have enough quarterback depth by pairing Rosen with fellow quarterback Kyler Murray, the Cardinals flipped Rosen for two draft picks, trading him to the Miami Dolphins.

Keim wouldn’t cop to being disappointed in the return value.

The general manager promised the Cardinals still believe Rosen will become a fine NFL quarterback.

“We’re very high on Josh Rosen and certainly were fine to keep him,” Keim said.

“I’ve been through enough drafts and have dealt players before or traded for players; I try not to think about how easy or hard it will be because a lot of times you let yourself down. I try not to get caught up in that and it’s more about the feel of the value.”

But it could either be argued that Rosen is a sunk cost or a lost cause.

Arizona traded the 15th, 79th and 152nd selections in 2018 to pick Rosen 10th overall. By trading him, the team is left with 5-foot-9 slot receiver Andy Isabella out of UMass, who was taken with the 62nd pick formerly owned by Miami, and the Dolphins’ 2020 fifth-round choice.

“It wasn’t as much about exactly the two (picks) or whatever it was,” Keim said. “It was really more about sort of trusting our board and what was the cut-off of the value and the difference of maybe what it would be to maybe have him on the roster instead of three guys or four guys who could contribute in immediate roles.”

Keim said the Cardinals reached their goal of picking four players through the first three rounds who were among the top 50 prospects on their board.

Directly relating that to the Rosen trade, Isabella certainly could contribute immediately in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s spread offense.

The Cardinals see him as either a slot receiver, but Keim also noted his 4.31-second 40-yard dash that makes him a potential game-changer off the bat.

Still, the general manager’s already controversial pick of Murray will be magnified greater as Rosen begins a career for a Dolphins team that could thrust him into duty sooner rather than later. Rosen will battle boom-or-bust veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job in Miami after completing just 55% of his passes for 11 touchdowns to 14 picks as a rookie last year with Arizona.

Trading Rosen simply came down to the Cardinals believing more in Murray.

Kingsbury had called Rosen “our guy” upon the assertion that Arizona might be interested in drafting Murray in February. His Murray-centric answer about that comment said it all on Friday.

“As the evaluation went on … it became evident that we felt like Kyler was a special talent, was the best player in the draft and we had to take him,” Kingsbury said.

Rosen’s future in Cardinal red appeared doubtful with his unfollowing of the Cardinals franchise earlier on social media Friday.

But it had been there since February, when Murray began thinking about his NFL future rather than pursuing a career in baseball. Keim admitted as much Friday while disputing a report that said Arizona had done nothing to build a market for the quarterback until just before the team selected Murray first overall on Thursday.

“I never actively shopped him and I’ve been clear about that all along,” Keim said. “A team has to make a hard offer and I always leave that door open.”

Arizona Cardinals

(Twitter Photo/@CardsMarkD)...
Jake Anderson

Cardinals safety Budda Baker gives health update from hospital bed

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker provided an update on his health from a hospital bed via Instagram on Tuesday morning.
13 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Tanner Vallejo (51) tackles Los Angeles Rams running back Cam A...
Wills Rice

Arizona Cardinals to select No. 23 overall in 2022 NFL Draft

The Arizona Cardinals will be selecting No. 23 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft after the team's 34-11 Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
13 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the second half of hi...
Wills Rice

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury closes season with another poor finish

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury's end of the year struggles are well documented, but Monday's loss closed another abysmal finish to the season.
13 hours ago
J.J. Watt #99 and Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals take a knee during an injury timeout ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ season a ‘massive failure’ in eyes of J.J. Watt, Kyler Murray

The once promising Cardinals season came to an unceremonious end on Monday, along with it any and all of the good feelings left from 2021.
13 hours ago
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals looks on from the side line in the second quart...
Kellan Olson

Kliff Kingsbury: Struggles in 2nd half of seasons ‘definitely a priority’ to fix

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has seen one of his football teams melt down in the second half of the season yet again.
13 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin, left, sits on the bench with teammates during the seco...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals self-destruct in glaring Wild Card loss to Rams

The Cardinals' return to the postseason was quick and painful in a 34-11 shellacking at the hands of NFC West division winner L.A. Rams.
13 hours ago
Was the Cardinals’ Josh Rosen trade to Dolphins about value or belief?