If the Arizona Cardinals want to trade quarterback Josh Rosen, the Washington Redskins must jump. It makes too much sense for too many reasons and they needed that position filled too long.
This does not mean that they should take it at all costs. But there are not many good reasons why they should not pursue this QB. Even after trading for Case Keenum, which will fight with Colt McCoy for the starting job, the Redskins need a quarterback of the future. Alex Smith's injury leaves his future to play in doubt.
There are several quarterbacks that the Redskins like in this draft, including some that they would take with their first round at number 15 overall. There are some who might like it in the second round and a couple they like later in the draft. So if the price for Rosen is too high – for example, for the choice of the first round – they won't bite, nor should they.
When: 25-27 April
Where is it: Nashville, Tennessee
How to watch: App ABC / ESPN / ESPN
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But a third rounder? Madness. A second? It will take some convincing, but it should not be a deterrent – and if the Redskins want, they can always recover the lost pick by trading in the first round.
Rosen is not a perfect prospect; there are questions about him that he won't be able to answer until he plays a little. That's why the Redskins are interested … at some point. It is not yet in a serious phase in terms of making a move, but Rosen still makes sense for Washington for these reasons:
Cap hit: Smith counts $ 20.4 million against this year's salary cap. If the Redskins release it in a year's time, it would still have $ 32 million in dead money (even if they have a $ 12 million insurance policy if it's actually finished), which could extend for two years. They need a good quarterback that doesn't cost much. It helps that neither Keenum nor McCoy count more than $ 3.5 million against the cap.
Over the next three years, Rosen's successes are combined for $ 6.2 million. This would allow the Redskins to pass by Smith, absorb the cap shot and continue building. Also, if they wish, they could take Rosen's option and have it for a fourth year before the skyrocket costs. And if it fails, because the cost is not prohibitive, it can try again next year, just as it would if a non-first quarterback in this draft does not show that it can be a future starter.
QB hole: They could have their present and future quarterbacks. The Redskins have long tried to fill this void, and every time they seem to have succeeded, the situation turns. Robert Griffin III passes from prodigy to wounded to marginalized, and Kirk Cousins is tagged and then leaves free agency, etc.
The Redskins have drafted 10 quarterbacks since 2000 – three in the first round – and have been exchanged for another four. They signed low-end free agents. The result: only Cousins and Jason Campbell started for three consecutive years, and only Cousins started all those games. In fact, they are the only two QBs that have been the net starter for three consecutive seasons since 1993.
The Redskins failed to get this position right. They have to keep trying.
Suitable for Jay Gruden: Smith was a strong leader, but in the early part of the season there was frustration with his lack of aggression in the field. Rosen is not afraid to knock down the field and Gruden would like him because he is more aggressive and has a mentality more suited to Gruden than Cousins does. The Rosen needs to check down more often – and Gruden would prefer to force a ball or catch a bag.
Rosen completed 14 of 49 passes on 20 or more yards, but his attempts were the 10th since most weeks 4 through 17, when he was the owner of the Arizona. Its completion rate was ranked 26th, but it is also a function of the talent that surrounds it. The Redskins know full well that they need more help; they will look for some.
Gruden's desire to use more gameplay fits Rosen well, and ESPN's Dan Orlovsky said that Gruden's system for the west coast suits Rosen, who played in a similar scheme.
But Orlovsky also said that it makes no sense for the Redskins to exchange a first-round choice for Rosen. He's right. The Redskins would almost agree. Orlovsky said that other situations might make more sense: a team with an older quarterback who could surrender only late in the first round.
"In the worst case scenario, he is one of the best NFL reserve quarterbacks for a few cents on the dollar. Better scenario, I literally stole my next 10 years," Orlovsky said. "I simply don't think it will be there for a late choice of the second or third round."
Orlovsky calls Rosen an intelligent player who can make games on the run and who could play in any crime.
"It sounds fantastic," Orlovsky said. "You see the field incredibly well, the subtleties of the defense. Every game, he knows, is a problem. Here are the answers. When you have this with a quarterback, you are completely open with your playbook. "You can do so much creativity-wisely because you have a boy who can handle it intellectually. He can throw it as good as anyone. Go, & # 39; This guy doesn't have many flaws in his game. & # 39;"
Yet the questions persist with Rosen. The biggest one, however, remains for the Redskins: when will they solve this quarterback riddle?
This is another chance to get it right.