Despite declaring on Twitter just three weeks ago that second-year quarterback Josh Rosen was “our guy,” new Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is singing a different tune in private at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, according to one report published on Sunday.
Last October, when Kingsbury was still head coach at Texas Tech University, he gushed effusively about Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray, who went on to win the 2018 Heisman Trophy. Kingsbury said that Murray was “a freak,” and “phenomenal,” adding most tellingly, “I’d take him with the first pick of the draft if I could,” according to an interview posted by NFL Update.
After he was named the new head coach in Arizona — the team that actually possesses the first pick in the draft — Kingsbury attempted to walk back his earlier comments about Murray. After all, Arizona had used its first-round pick in 2018, 10th overall, on UCLA signal-caller Josh Rosen. But Rosen endured a rough rookie season in Glendale, managing just three wins in 13 starts, throwing 14 interceptions against just 11 touchdowns and winding up the season with an unremarkable 66.7 quarterback rating, according to NFL.com stats.
When asked about his comments in an interview in January, Kingsbury backtracked.
“That was in October way before anything like this had transpired,” he said, according to AZ Central.
Behind closed doors, however, Kingsbury’s view of Murray appears to be just as high now as it was in October, according to Draft Analyst writer and publisher Tony Pauline.
“Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was telling people last night that it’s a ‘done deal” the Cardinals will select the Oklahoma Sooners quarterback with the first pick of the draft,” Pauline wrote in a Sunday post on the site. “Whether or not Kingsbury has the final say on the choice remains to be seen, but stay tuned.”
As The Inquisitr reported on Saturday, the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and possibly even the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have been potentially eyeing a deal to acquire Rosen, in anticipation of the Cardinals using the number one overall draft pick on April 25 to select Murray — making Rosen expendable.
A new possible suitor for Rosen emerged on Sunday, however, when draft prognosticator Forrest N. Long of The Huddle Report predicted that the Miami Dolphins would deal their No. 13 overall pick to Arizona, to acquire Rosen, as new Miami Head Coach Brian Flores and the organization look to move on from Ryan Tannehill.
The Huddle Report, on Twitter, claims to be the top-ranked mock draft site for accuracy over the past five seasons.
And indeed, according to a Miami Herald report earlier this week, the Dolphins have placed Tannehill on the trade market, as they actively attempt to shed the 30-year-old quarterback, who registered a dismal 33.1 quarterback rating last year, per Pro Football Reference, and his $26.6 million salary cap hit. That number nearly equals the salary cap figure given to the Patriots’ future Hall of Famer, six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady.