With the recent reports that the Arizona Cardinals intend to select Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the first overall 2019 draft choice, there have been related reports that Arizona is shopping Josh Rosen, the 10th overall choice from just a year ago. I personally believe that it’s very likely that these reports are being leaked by the Cardinals themselves, so they can convince a quarterback-needy team to give up a king’s ransom in order to acquire the number one pick and nab Murray. But if these rumors are true, the Cardinals will almost certainly ship Rosen to somewhere for a nice haul of draft capital. I don’t think there is any team that makes more sense for Rosen than the New England Patriots.
First of all, Rosen needs a team like the Patriots. The Cardinals are among the least stable franchises in the league right now, they were poorly coached in 2018 and given Kliff Kingsbury’s mediocrity at Texas Tech, I have serious concerns about his future in AZ, and the Cards’ roster is currently a complete mess. The Patriots, however, are the most stable franchise in the NFL, have the best coach of all time along with a great coaching staff, their roster isn’t great, but it’s good enough, and Bill Belichick always puts together good drafts and free agent steals. Rosen will always have a team around him and a good coaching staff as long as Belichick stays around.
With that being said, Belichick won’t be around forever. At 66 years of age, Belichick has to be considering retirement in the future. Even though Belichick is defensive minded, he may be the best mentor in the history of this sport. Josh McDaniels is also no slouch of an offensive coordinator. But perhaps the biggest piece to this puzzle is Tom Brady. We’ve seen no-name quarterbacks, like Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo, sit behind Brady for some time, and end up being young stars in the NFL. Regardless of who you believe the best quarterback ever is, there is no argument that Brady is the hardest working and the most intelligent.
So, why does Rosen need the Patriots as much as the Patriots need Rosen? The Patriots currently have no succession plan for Brady. Of course, he plans on playing until he’s 45, but he did slow down a little bit in 2018. And although Brady has an iron body, there’s no telling when he could get blindsided by a linebacker and boom, career ended. He’s at a point in his career where he sees a defender coming, and instead of throwing it away or taking a hit and making a throw, he is forced to fold up like a chair and go down on his own to avoid injury. If he does get injured, they would be forced to turn to the likes of Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling. Under at least the short-term guidance of Belichick, Brady, and McDaniels, Rosen can reach his true potential that made him a top 10 draft pick.
It may not seem like it now, but the AFC East could turn into a gauntlet very quickly. The Bills have defensive guru Sean McDermott as head coach, a brilliant general manager in Brandon Beane, and a promising young quarterback in Josh Allen. The Jets also have a promising young quarterback in Sam Darnold, who has capable mentors in new head coach Adam Gase and veteran quarterback Josh McCown. Their defense excelled in 2018, and that success should continue in 2019 and beyond with a very good defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams. Not to mention plenty of cap space for the Jets and Fins, with Buffalo currently at $73 million and the Jets at $91 million according to spotrac.com. The Dolphins are in the midst of a rebuild, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about new head coach Brian Flores, and if the Dolphins do get coveted 2020 quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and he does pan out, the Patriots may not have a cake walk to the division crown as they have had in recent history.
It would be smart for the Patriots to lock up their quarterback of the future. He wouldn’t have to start right away, and likely wouldn’t if a trade goes down. He could sit, learn, and dominate three to four years from now. A Rosen to New England trade would help resurrect Rosen’s career, and lock up an important position for the future for the Patriots.