The Arizona Cardinals took the extraordinary step on Tuesday to confirm that 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen is their starting quarterback moving froward.
The declaration from first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury comes after the Cardinals — picking No. 1 overall — had been linked to reigning Heisman winner Kyler Murray.
There’s an obvious connection between Kingsbury and Murray.
- Kingsbury previously noted that he would take Murray No. 1 overall in the draft if he were ever in a position to do that.
- The same day that saw Murray fully declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, the quarterback hired Erik Burkhardt of Select Sports — the same agent that represents Kingsbury.
The backdrop here is real. Murray has received more pre-draft buzz than any other prospect heading into the annual event this coming April.
Even then, the Cardinals’ declaration is pretty absurd on the surface. More importantly, it could be seen as the team responding to an NFL rumor mill that throws out more smoke than fire at this point in the calendar.
Cardinals aren’t going to show their hand: Why would they months before the draft?
- By making this statement, Arizona might have ruined any leverage it has in a potential trade-down scenario. If Murray is in fact one of the top players on the board, said leverage was wasted.
- In turn, this gives the division-rival San Francisco 49ers — picking No. 2 overall — all the power. If everyone knows the Cards are not going Murray, San Francisco will receive a ton of calls.
Josh Rosen has not earned it: Why give him a vote of confidence after a horrible rookie season?
- That’s the real backdrop here. Nothing Rosen did as a rookie last season proves that he is the Cardinals’ franchise quarterback of the future.
- Sure adding Kingsbury to replace the disaster that was Steve Wilks showed the Cardinals’ hand a bit here.
- Even then, handing Rosen the job in February does very little to inspire hope that he’s going to work harder to remain the guy.
Responding to rumors: This shows a lack of overall continuity in the front office.
- Teams should not be sitting back and responding to talk around the NFL water cooler. No established report has indicated that the Cardinals are taking Murray No. 1 overall.
- In turn, this showed that Arizona isn’t running the tightest of ships in the desert. Who cares what some might speculate on Twitter?
- Simply put, Twitter is all about instant reactions, hot takes and some downright ridiculous conversations. The Cardinals now placed themselves into said conversations.
Building a contender: In what world does it make sense to draft quarterbacks in the top 10 in consecutive years?
- This is the biggest issue. Arizona played into the narrative that general manager Steve Keim has no idea what he’s doing.
- What are the Cardinals going to do? It makes little sense for Arizona to deal Rosen while going quarterback No. 1 overall. How is that going to expedite the team’s rebuild?
In short, the Cardinals have been a horribly run organization over the past couple years. That’s on ownership. That’s on the general manager.
But to put Kingsbury out there as a way to quiet rumors persisting on social media showed us just how bad it is in the desert. Tuesday’s comments merely made the Cardinals a laughingstock — even more than they already were.