With the NFL Draft officially in the books, Josh Rosen is the big loser once again. For the second time in two years, the former tenth pick in the 2018 draft saw his team take another QB with their first pick.
However, unlike the end in Arizona, this may not be the end of Rosen’s time in Miami. Despite all signs pointing to the Dolphins having little or no interest in Rosen as their long term franchise quarterback, it may be in both parties’ interest for this marriage to continue.
What’s gone wrong for Josh Rosen
When the Cardinals traded up for Rosen, with the idea of him sitting behind Sam Bradford for a year, it looked like the UCLA Bruin had found a great spot to sit and learn. Things quickly went south for that plan, as Bradford stank up the joint and Rosen was named starter for Week 4.
It wasn’t the best of opening years for Rosen, going 3-10 and post 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. The Cardinals were a mess up-front, and still are largely, and wholesale changes throughout the organisation saw Rosen traded to the Dolphins on day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Cardinals selected Kyler Murray, but still largely didn’t address their offensive line, and ended 2019 with a 5-10-1 record, just 2.5 games better than 2018. While Murray looked a better fit in new head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s system, the results weren’t massively improved.
Josh Rosen, on the other hand, landed on the Dolphins a team in search of a franchise quarterback for the last twenty-odd years. Despite that Rosen would get just three starts all season, losing all three, as the Dolphins started the season 0-7.
Watching Rosen from his first few relief appearances in Miami, to his last start, it’s very apparent that he lost his confidence. He holds the ball too long, and is constantly under-pressure, partly through holding the ball, and partly because the line was that bad.
Rosen has landed in two bad spots for a rookie quarterback. Never the most mobile, he needs a good line in front of him, and time to see the field. Rookies always take time to see what’s going on, and Rosen just hasn’t had that yet.
The road forward for Josh Rosen
While things may seem bleak right now, this still isn’t the worst spot for Rosen. With the Dolphins selecting Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick in the NFL 2020 Draft, it is clear the Dolphins see him as their franchise quarterback.
However, with Ryan Fitzpatrick on the back-end of a two-year deal, and almost certainly done in Miami after this season, Rosen has prime position on the backup role one that happens. While that is obviously not Josh Rosen’s preferred career path it may be his best option currently.
Rosen is currently in the perfect spot to learn the system, learn the game, and prepare himself for when he gets his chance. Tagovailoa has a lengthy injury history and there’s a chance this rears it’s head again at some point.
And even if it doesn’t, Josh Rosen will get plenty of snaps in pre-season for other teams to see what he can do.
Dolphins needs to play the long game
By the same token, the Dolphins have little incentive to trade Josh Rosen at this point. His trade value is basically nil, and his contract is a mere $2.1m this season, and $3m in 2021. Plus the Dolphins have a fifth-year option.
There’s no sense removing a good backup quarterbacking option and needing to sign another, for the same kind of money that doesn’t have the skillset. Also if Rosen sees snaps, either during the season or in preseason his value could increase.
Over the years the Patriots have shopped a lot of quarterbacks this way over the years. Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett, and Matt Cassel to name just three. So this doesn’t have to be a bad spot for Josh Rosen.
While it may not be significant, Rosen’s value good increase to the fourth or fifth round region, which would be a win. Or Rosen could become a career backup for the Dolphins which would be an extremely valuable win for Miami.
With little or no trade value, it makes no sense for the Dolphins to move on. They will carry three quarterbacks into the new season, regardless of whether it’s Josh Rosen or someone else.
With the great moves Chris Grier has made this offseason already, I see him sticking with Rosen as that gives the team the greatest value given the current situation.