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A few quick thoughts on the Patriots and Josh Rosen situation

It’s not quite as simple as “Well, just pony up a high pick and QB of the future is solved”.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

“Are the Patriots in mix for Cardinals QB Josh Rosen? Of course they are...”

That’s Tom E. Curran’s headline at NBC Sports Boston. Either Bill’s been texting all 31 other GMs on everyone from Odell Beckham Jr to Antonio Brown to Adam Humphries to Golden Tate (likely!), or he’s mastered the Danny Ainge black art of floating it out there that no matter who the player in question is, “we were EXTREMELY interested, we just couldn’t make it work”. (Also likely!)

Probably both, let’s be honest here.

Hey, the worst they can say is “No”.

And with all the smoke-turned-marshmallow-roast-ready-campfire around former Patriots quarterback Kliff Kingsbury (sorry, couldn’t resist) wanting to start the 2019 season with his quarterback man-crush and one-time adversary Kyler Murray...

....naturally the convo has shifted to “So they’re definitely done with Josh Rosen less than a year after they drafted him at #10 overall and made Rosen the latest in a streak of what look like oh-dear-god misfires (think like, post-Patrick-Peterson) in the first round from the Cards, right?”

A little convenient that all said smoke would come up right before the draft when Arizona happens to have the number one pick and more roster needs than a Memorial Day cookout shopping list, but, you know, ‘tis the season.

(Personally, when it comes to Kyler, I’m slightly less concerned with him being the height that’ll get some girls on Tinder to skip you immediately and more concerned with whether he is good at throwing footballs or not, but that’s just me)

In terms of what it’s *allegedly* going to take to get the Cards to deal Rosen, PFT and others have reported that they’ve had one offer of a second rounder (and that was the Chargers, according to the aforementioned Ben Allbright), but no dice; Arizona either apparently thinks they’ll get a first-rounder or would really love to not have to explain why they dealt their first-round draft pick from last year in an all-time “my bad, guys!” when, say, Derwin James or Tremaine Edmunds or Leighton Vander Esch were still checking their texts.

So. Now a somewhat popular theory becomes that New England’s pick number 32 should be all it takes to get Arizona to shake hands on this Monopoly deal with the Pats and only *slightly* risk giving a consensus top quarterback prospect to the greatest coach of all time and potentially triggering the event that results in another 15-year multi-championship dynasty and finally makes the NFL make the “No more trading with Belichick, EVER” rule.

No pressure.

Speaking of pressure, as far as Rosen’s schematic fit with the Patriots, our man Mark Schofield broke down Josh’s game a few weeks ago with the enthusiasm and thoroughness of your one friend when they find out someone’s never seen Game of Thrones before. The TL;DR is that Rosen’s skillz should let him effectively operate in basically any type of modern NFL offense, which, obviously, excludes whatever the Cardinals were doing last year. There’s the whole “throwing too many interceptions” thing, as well, but hey, Peyton threw more picks than touchdowns his first year in Indy, too. Throwing picks, while certainly a bad habit, is correctable. Kid’s gotta learn sooner or later.

There is, however, that one issue of the quarterback that the Patriots already have on the roster, and I’m not referring to he of the 86.0-yards-per-carry career rushing average Danny Etling.

Every year, our soon-to-be-42-year-old GOAT makes it look more and more like playing until 45 is more of a “you can join me, or you can get out of my way”. How about that supposed “down year” this year, anyway?

One could even, if one were so inclined, get into the WEAPONZ that Brady had available to him at skill positions in both seasons vs who he didn’t have - say, like, in ‘17 when Edelman tore his ACL but Cooks had a great year and so did Gronk, or this past season when Edelman was suspended and Josh Gordon was in and out but James White did really well get the idea.

The point is, and apologies if this is a blazing hot taek, but calling last year proof of a Brady “decline” is more like when your head is pounding after the first night on a bachelor party and you take your first sip of a Tequila Sunrise or something the next morning like “AHHHHH, I can already feel myself catching my first wind!”

Wishful thinking is what that’s called, that’s what I’m getting at.

So unless Bill knows something we don’t (I mean, he knows literal millions of things that we don’t, but you know what I mean) about Brady’s career plans, we’re talking about New England trying to swing a trade for a quarterback in Rosen who’s going to ride the bench like Jimmy G did for:

  1. AT LEAST the 2019 NFL season.
  2. Barring something catastrophic or Brady suddenly deciding he sucks (which, as we all know, is his criteria for when he’ll retire, aside from the age-45 target), more than likely the 2020-2021 season as well.

Yes, Jimmy G was basically the perfect backup and got along great with Brady and never complained and ran the scout team like a boss. Jimmy was also not a top-10 pick that almost certainly expects to start, or AT MINIMUM to be able to compete for the starting job or be part of a clear succession plan that doesn’t involve waiting for Tom Brady to suddenly crash down to 2015 Peyton Manning levels, or 2023, whichever happens first.

And speaking of 2023, given that Brady’s almost guaranteed to be slinging the rock for at least the next two seasons, there’s that whole “Oh yeah, Rosen’s on a rookie contract” thing. A good thing, salary-wise! But here’s how the dates line up:

After which, Señor Rosen will get PAID, because that’s how quarterback salaries work now. Whoever’s up for a contract becomes a top-5 highest paid in the game. We live in a world where Kirk Freaking Cousins is getting almost $30 mil per year fully guaranteed, and the odds of Rosen cutting the Patriots the Brady Special on his first big chance to make set-for-life money....yeah. No.

Yes, Josh has a fifth-year option on there as well, but the point is we’re saying if this trade goes down, he’s not starting in 2019. There’ll be no debate here. Debate will NOT be embraced.

Again, unless Brady picks up skiing full-time...

....the 2020 year on Rosen’s contract ends with him as a backup too. As does 2021.

I’ve hit my head a lot in my life, as one does when you grow up playing snow-day ice hockey on a frozen lake, but at this point in the scenario doesn’t this seem like that part in a movie when you look around like at various points in Bad Boys II or basically any of the Fast & Furious movies like “REALLY?!?”

What I’m trying to say is, this whole Rosen trade scenario sounds a lot more Madden than real life. You know, where things like “this is Brady’s team until he says it’s not” and “Josh Rosen presumably did not bust his ass becoming one of the best football prospects in the ‘18 draft to sit until 2021” don’t exist and everyone’s chill at all times and never demands trades or gets antsy in their pantsy.

And spare me the “But DUDE Aaron Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre, that worked!”

Kinda, in the sense that Rodgers was ready to roll after 3 years, but those guys HATED each other and Favre was pretty clear that coaching up a rookie with a gel-spike haircut wasn’t his job, and the now-venerable A.A.Ron didn’t exactly light it up in spot duty any of those 3 years before he took over in 2008 either. If you remember, there was also that whole Mike-McCarthy-as-Mr-Miyagi thing when McCarthy replaced Mike Sherman and made Rodgers study like it was a full-time job. A sketchy analogy at best is what that is.

Oh, and one more thing:

We did this whole QB-of-the-future thing last year, too, and then watched as Bill stayed pat with his two (2!) first-round picks, passed on Lamar Jackson, then passed on Lamar Jackson again, then passed on Mason Rudolph, and said “Nah” to the perfect Belichick prospect (remember that? good times!) Kyle Lauletta, get the idea.

Josh Rosen may very well get dealt before the draft anyway, or even during the draft (how wild would it be to have a quarterback trade when Arizona’s on the clock at #1?!), it just seems like New England pulling the trigger would take even more of a suspension of disbelief at this point than the aforementioned Bad Boys II. Or, speaking of the future, how’s Bad Boys For Life coming along, anyway?