Hannable: Patriots were interested in quarterback Josh Rosen a year ago, so it only makes sense to pursue trade now

Ryan Hannable
March 20, 2019 - 8:22 am

The Patriots will always be in the market for quarterbacks until Tom Brady’s successor is found, so when a top 10 pick of a year ago potentially could become available antennas in Foxboro certainly go up, especially when he was a player the organization liked.

On Tuesday, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury reportedly were on the Oklahoma campus to meet with Kyler Murray. The assumption is the team plans on selecting him No. 1 overall, which would then mean they will likely trade Josh Rosen, who they selected No. 10 overall last year.

According to a league source, the Patriots liked Rosen’s talent and ability last year at this time, so if he were to become available via trade the Patriots should absolutely be on the phone with the Cardinals.

Given where the Patriots select in the draft year after year, it’s next to impossible for them to get a top 10 quarterback, so this may be their best chance to do so. 

As many have pointed out in recent weeks, Rosen’s contract is for three years and $6.24 million, both in cash paid and total cap hits, which is a tremendously team-friendly deal. Relating to the Patriots, Brian Hoyer has a base salary of $2.8 million and a cap hit of $3 million. New England could potentially get a backup who has the potential to be Brady’s replacement for less than Hoyer.

Then, there’s what Arizona reportedly is asking for in return.

A few weeks ago, NBC Sports’ Peter King reported a third-round pick might be the asking price for Rosen. If this is indeed the case, it is a no-brainer for New England, especially when the organization has six selections in the top 101 overall in this year’s draft. But, given Rosen’s contract, it’s hard to believe the Cardinals wouldn’t be able to get more than a third-rounder. Even if it were multiple selections, it still appears worth it for New England.

Rosen is a tremendous talent who threw for 3,756 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his final year at UCLA. Then in his rookie season last year in Arizona he certainly struggled, throwing 11 touchdowns to 13 interceptions in 14 games (13 starts), but he had one of the worst rosters in all of football to work with.

The biggest thing for Rosen last year was he seemingly was able to put an end to the label that he was difficult to coach and had attitude problems. Teams should have no concerns when potentially putting together trade offers for him now.

Specific to the Patriots, it really should be a no-lose situation.

No. 1, they have 12 overall selections in April’s draft, so trading away one or two would not be the end of the world. Then, best-case scenario he takes over for Brady in the next few seasons, but even if the team realizes he’s not the successor to Brady, it’s likely him being a top 10 selection the Patriots would be able to get something back for him via trade. Just look at what they did with Jacoby Brissett a few years back.

Also, given the lack of financial commitment, the team would still be free to draft a quarterback in the coming years if it truly felt that prospect had a better chance of being Brady’s successor than Rosen. 

It really is hard to find a reason not to do it.

With how good the Patriots are, the opportunity to get a young quarterback as good as Rosen might not ever come, so the Patriots should get on the phone with Arizona and try to work out a deal.

It would be hard to regret.

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