One of the major stories of the NFL offseason has been whether the Arizona Cardinals will use their No. 1 overall pick in the draft on a quarterback — presumably Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray — and trade away Josh Rosen, whom Arizona selected in the first round last year.
In comments posted Thursday, Rosen said he was well aware of the rumors and found his situation “annoying,” but he also said he understood that “football’s a business.”
Rosen was shown speaking in a clip released by SI TV. He referred to the fact that the Cardinals went 3-13 during his rookie season, including 3-10 in games he started, en route to firing coach Steve Wilks after just one year on the job.
“I think the season probably went as poorly as it could possibly go,” Rosen said. “But within that, I had an unbelievable time. I think when people talk about, like, you can’t listen to criticism or you can’t read articles, you have to be aware of what’s going on, to a certain extent. So I definitely understand the situation.
“It’s annoying, but it is what it is,” he continued. “Football’s a business, and I definitely respect the higher-ups and their decisions.
"We won three games, and each one of those wins — to me, it felt like we won the Super Bowl. And that feeling is so intoxicating, and that’s why I just want nothing more than to be part of a team next year and have the same opportunities to go out and compete.”
Rosen will undoubtedly be part of an NFL team this coming season, it just might be a question of which one. Arizona replaced Wilks with former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, who said in October that he would draft Murray first overall, and the Cardinals have been widely thought to be strongly leaning toward doing so.
It has been unclear, though, which other teams might have a strong interest in acquiring Rosen, who struggled as a rookie but was a highly regarded prospect coming out of UCLA. He has been linked, mostly through speculation, to teams that appear to have a need for young talent at quarterback, including the Washington Redskins and New York Giants, as well as to franchises with which he could be groomed under an aging star, such as the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers.
The clock is ticking on the Cardinals to make a decision at quarterback, but General Manager Steve Keim said Thursday that his team was “not done with this process” and had “not made a decision on the first overall pick.” He added, “There are a number of players in my opinion, and our scouts’ opinion, and our coaching staff’s opinion, that warrant being the first overall selection.”
The uncertainty over Rosen’s situation has led to all sorts of tea leaf-reading, including on Wednesday evening, when the Cardinals posted a 2019 schedule-release video. Focusing on the team’s home opponents this season, the video heavily featured prominent Arizona players, such as wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, linebacker Chandler Jones and running back David Johnson. Rosen only appeared incidentally in the background of a few shots.
That prompted chatter that the team was intentionally minimizing the quarterback’s presence, but he got far more screen time Thursday in a similar video that focused on Arizona’s road opponents.
The churning rumor mill did not stop Rosen from attending team workouts this month, and Kingsbury said Tuesday that the quarterback was the “first one to show up” at the Cardinals’ facility.
“He’s been phenomenal,” Kingsbury said of Rosen (via NFL.com). “He couldn’t have been better, honestly. … Engaging. Into it. Very sharp, as everybody knows. Can’t say enough good things about my interactions with him so far.”
“We’ve had good communication. He is a pro’s pro,” Keim said Tuesday of Rosen. “And the one thing I’ve appreciated the most since we’ve drafted him: The kid has an unbelievable amount of mental toughness.
"You saw that last year as he took a beating and we went through the injuries that we went through up front. Physical toughness, mental toughness — Josh Rosen has it all.”
The 22-year-old quarterback told SI TV the best advice that he had ever gotten in his life was to “control what you can control.”
“Whatever decisions are made,” Rosen said, “it’s my duty to prove them right if they keep me and prove them wrong if they ship me off.”
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