The Arizona Cardinals apparently let it be known that they plan on selecting reigning Heisman winner Kyler Murray No. 1 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
This would be a major turnabout for a team that committed a top-10 pick on quarterback Josh Rosen last year. It also means that Rosen himself will likely be traded should Arizona select Murray.
It’s in this that we predict and rank the 10 best landing spots for the former UCLA star and potential franchise quarterback.
1. New England Patriots
This simply makes too much sense not to happen. Entering his Age-42 season, there’s no telling when Tom Brady will call it quits. Also, he did regress some this past season and the Pats are certainly in the market for a quarterback of the future after trading away Jimmy Garoppolo.
Flush with two second-round picks and three third-round picks, the Patriots could offer up two of them to land Rosen. It beats the options that might be available to New England outside of Round 1 when April comes calling.
2. New York Giants
New York has apparently made the bold decision to retain Eli Manning for the 2019 season. In no way does this mean he’s guaranteed to start. How that dynamic plays out remains to be seen. What’s known is that these Giants need to finally bite the bullet and add a future franchise quarterback.
Selecting sixth overall in April, it’s not yet known whether Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins will be available for the Giants. In fact, we’d certainly bet against it. If so, moving a second-round pick and change to the Cardinals for Rosen makes the most sense. He could sit behind Eli for a year and be ready to take over in 2020.
3. Washington Redskins
We’re really not buying that Washington is okay with heading into next season with Colt McCoy as the team’s starting quarterback. Now that Alex Smith is slated to miss the entire 2019 season after suffering a brutal injury last November, the onus is on Washington to add that quarterback of the future.
Washington’s second-round pick and change (or a player) could head to the Cardinals under this hypothetical deal. It sure beats out hoping that a top-end quarterback prospect is available to the team at No. 15 overall in the draft.
4. Miami Dolphins
Tanking for Tua Tagovailoa might be in the cards for Miami next season. But that’s not really going to sit well with a fan base that’s growing increasingly frustrated in South Beach. Why kick the quarterback situation down the road when a prospect like Josh Rosen is looking you right in the face? He would be a Year 1 starter for the Dolphins — expediting their rebuild in the process.
Miami also makes for a great trade partner in that it could offer up stud young cornerback Xavien Howard and change for Rosen. Needless to say, the Cards have their eyes set on adding a young corner behind veteran Patrick Peterson.
5. New Orleans Saints
As we saw last offseason when New Orleans traded for Teddy Bridgewater, general manager Mickey Loomis and Co. have their eyes fixated on finding a future franchise quarterback behind the aging Drew Brees. Outside of Brady in New England, this would likely be the best situation for Rosen. He’d be able to learn from one of the game’s all-time greats.
Something to the tune of their second-round pick in 2019 and a future mid-round pick could be enough for the Saints to entice Arizona. If so, this would set New Orleans up at quarterback for the next decade.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
We previously focused on the fact that Los Angeles needs to think long and hard about finding a quarterback for the future. There’s no telling how long Philip Rivers will play. He had in the past considered retirement and might call it quits here soon.
What better way for Los Angeles to prepare for the future than to trade for Rosen. He’s a Southern California boy and starred for UCLA during college. Given that Los Angeles flirted with the idea of trading up for Patrick Mahomes during the 2017 NFL Draft, we already know that quarterback is on the radar.
7. Oakland Raiders
Head coach and de facto general manager Jon Gruden was apparently shopping quarterback Derek Carr during the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. The team also met with Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins in Indianapolis. Needless to say, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Oakland will retain Carr.
Gruden spoke highly of Rosen in the lead up to the 2018 NFL Draft. He likes what the young quarterback brings to the table. Flush with three first-round picks, he could very well offer one of the two acquired in a trade for Rosen. Given that Carr would likely net a second-round pick in a trade, that would lessen the burn of yielding a first for Rosen.
8. Denver Broncos
At 6-foot-4, Rosen is exactly the type of prototypical quarterback Broncos general manager John Elway likes. Just ask Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch and Joe Flacco. And even after acquiring Flacco in a trade from Baltimore back in February, these Broncos need a future franchise quarterback. It’s been one of the biggest issues for Elway during his less-than-stellar tenure in Mile High.
Denver could realistically offer up backup quarterback Case Keenum, its second-round pick and a mid rounder for Rosen. This would enable him to sit behind Flacco for a year and ultimately take over in 2020.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville has been linked to Nick Foles in recent days. In fact, reports suggest that Tom Coughlin and Co. will sign the former Super Bowl MVP once free agency opens up on March 13. Though, there’s certainly a scenario in play that suggests the Jags should look for a longer-term option.
That’s where Rosen comes into play. He’d immediately be an upgrade over Blake Bortles under center — enabling Jacksonville to contend in 2019 after a disastrous 2018 campaign. It just makes too much sense.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
Already in contract extension negotiations with Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh has long sought a young quarterback to work under the Super Bowl champion. It had previously come in the form of Landry Jones and Mason Rudolph. Rosen himself projects to be a much better quarterback down the road.
Any move to acquire Rosen would likely come with a caveat. How much longer are the Steelers going to commit to Big Ben? It’s a question general manager Kevin Colbert and Co. will certainly be asking here this offseason.