- The aftermath of the Arizona Cardinals drafting Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick and then trading Josh Rosen has not looked good for the team.
- According to a report, the Cardinals did not tell Rosen’s agent to help seek out deals for Rosen until the night of the draft and hadn’t canvassed the league to gauge Rosen’s value beforehand.
- Rosen, meanwhile, thanked the Cardinals and their fans, wished Murray good luck, jokingly offered his Arizona condo to Murray, and earned praise from others in the NFL world.
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The Arizona Cardinals ultimately decided to do what had been rumored for months in the build-up to the NFL draft: take Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick, then trade last year’s 10th overall pick, Josh Rosen.
The decision itself hasn’t received much criticism — the logic of taking a quarterback with back-to-back first-round picks can be questioned, Murray seems like a better overall prospect, and Rosen didn’t exactly light it up in his rookie year.
However, it’s the way that the situation was handled that has not looked great for the Cardinals. Meanwhile, Rosen’s handling of it has earned him praise.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko, despite months of rumors, Rosen didn’t believe the Cardinals would truly take Murray until the night of the draft. That’s when the Cardinals called Rosen’s agent, Ryan Williams, to give permission to look for potential suitors.
According to Klemko, Cardinals GM Steve Keim asked Williams if he thought the Patriots would be interested in Rosen. The late-game planning reportedly baffled Rosen’s camp. From Klemko:
"Williams was taken aback and grew angry. How did Keim not already know the answer? The whole world knew, or had a good idea, that the Cardinals were taking Murray on Thursday. Why the secrecy? Why are we negotiating trade terms now instead of weeks ago? "
According to Klemko, the Cardinals wanted a first-round or second-round pick in exchange for Rosen. The Cardinals’ first call to the Washington Redskins asking for a first-round pick for Rosen reportedly got them laughed at by a Washington executive.
The Cardinals eventually agreed to trade Rosen to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a late-second-round pick (62nd overall) and a 2020 fifth-round pick.
While the Cardinals may have chosen the better quarterback prospect in the eyes of many, there are also salary-cap consequences to their short-sightedness.
Meanwhile, Rosen has been praised for his handling of the deal. Though the Cardinals reportedly debated keeping him on the roster, Rosen told Klemko he knew that, even if they had a quarterback competition, it would be impossible for him to beat out Murray.
"I absolutely would have competed if they kept me, but I would’ve been kind of bummed about it because I knew I wouldn’t get a fair shake," Rosen told Klemko. "A GM’s not going to draft a quarterback and draft another one the next year, higher, and then play the first one. It’s admitting you made two mistakes. It just wouldn’t happen. I wouldn’t hesitate to compete, but I would know pre-emptively I wouldn’t get a shot even if I won the competition."
Rosen also put the entire ordeal into perspective, saying he hasn’t truly faced anything all that difficult.
He reportedly told Williams: "I’m fine. It’s not like I’m some child soldier in Darfur. I’ve had it pretty good. I think it’s time I had some legitimate adversity handed to me."
He told Klemko: "If I’m bummed I’m getting traded by the Arizona Cardinals, I try to think I’m living in an awesome condo in the middle of Scottsdale. I’m on a team, I have food on my table, a good family. Life could be a lot worse, so you count your blessings and try to put good energy out into the world."
After the trade, Rosen put out a classy video message, thanking the Cardinals and joking that he knew a place in Arizona where Murray could stay if he needed it.
Some have taken notice of Rosen’s handling of the situation.
Rosen didn’t leave Arizona without a bang. He stuck around to play in Larry Fitzgerald’s charity softball game, received a standing ovation from fans, then won the game’s MVP and home run derby.
Rosen landed in Miami on Monday and had his introductory press conference. He said he was leaning on advice from Tom Brady and Peyton Manning — and now his own experiences — to handle his new situation.
"I think you gotta have the mentality that you’re trying out every single day," Rosen said. "You hear quotes from the GOATs like Tom and Peyton and all of them and they’re saying that every year someone’s trying to come in and replace them, or even if they’re not, they try to act like they are. Every single day they try to earn the respect of their teammates … I’m going to have that kind of mindset like it’s my job every day, every hour, and every minute to prove that I’m the guy."
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