The Arizona Cardinals are taking some heat for the handling of the Josh Rosen trade, with NFL experts saying the team was fleeced by the Dolphins — and it was entirely their own doing.
The Cardinals had been rumored for weeks to be looking for a trade for Rosen, their first-round pick last year who had just one shaky season under his belt. Even though it was long known that the Cardinals would be taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the top overall pick, the team never made its intentions known, and Rosen was not traded until the second day when the Dolphins offered the No. 62 overall pick for him.
As Sports Illustrated writer Jonathan Jones noted, the entire trade process was mishandled by the Cardinals. He noted how the Cardinals acted too “cute” in not confirming their interest in Murray, which prevented Rosen from going on the trading block before free agency started.
This allowed quarterback-needy teams to address that need during free agency, leaving a much smaller pool of potentially interested teams by the time the Cardinals were willing to actually listen to offers for Rosen.
It was already too late by that point, Jones wrote.
“Still, the Cardinals had another chance to deal Rosen before the draft. As our Robert Klemko noted this weekend, [Cardinals general manager Steve] Keim got on the phone far too late in the game,” he wrote. “The rest of the league knew the Cardinals didn’t want or couldn’t keep Rosen. No one in the league really needed Rosen.”
By the time the first night of the NFL Draft ended, many pundits were already deeming the entire trade effort a failure on the part of the Arizona Cardinals and analyzing how the team had failed to ship off the quarterback when he could still bring maximum value in return.
"This is singlehandedly the worst trade in the history of the Miami Dolphins." ????️— DAZN CA (@DAZN_CA) April 27, 2019
Safe to say that this Dolphins (Now Panthers) fan is NOT happy with the Josh Rosen news. ????#NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/nYXvr3RkH6
Others, including NFL reporter Andrew Brandt, noted how it made little sense for the Cardinals to trade Josh Rosen at all, given his low salary. Brandt noted on Twitter that the Cardinals had already paid $11 million to Rosen in his first season, and the remaining contract had just $6 million to spread over three seasons.
From a business perspective - no matter the trade compensation - trading for Josh Rosen is stupid for Cardinals and brilliant for trading team. Cardinals paid an $11M bonus, rest of contract is $6M over 3 years plus a team option. Incredible value for trading team.— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) April 25, 2019
But as others noted, if Kyler Murray can turn into the franchise quarterback that many hope, the bungled attempts to trade Josh Rosen will likely be forgotten. If Rosen should turn into a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback, however, the opposite would likely be true.