With the rumors surfacing about the Dolphins fielding calls for Josh Rosen, it’s becoming more and more clear that Miami sits in a terrific position with the enigmatic player that’s become a complete afterthought since getting benched early in 2019. Their options are three-fold. Get blown away with an early offer from a desperate team, whoever that might be, and pull the trigger (unlikely, but Bill O’Brien has convinced me that any silly offer is possible now). In my mind, you scream DEAL if you hear a day two pick mentioned on the phone...although a fourth rounder would seem more plausible. Wait and see what happens with teams in training, camp or the preseason, when the injury bug can strike and leave a team desperate. Or, maybe just hang onto him.
And the last option really isn’t crazy. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen beyond 2020 with incumbent Ryan Fitzpatrick. How many years does he have left? When Miami is ready to feature 2020 fifth-overall pick Tua Tagovailoa starting in 2021 (or during the 2020 season) it’s more than reasonable to think that the journeyman would be ready to continue his league tour somewhere else for a better chance to start. And if that’s the case, who better to have as a backup quarterback than someone who graded as a top 10 draft pick? Except for Andy Dalton backing up Dak Prescott and Jameis Winston backing up Drew Brees, there aren’t too many backup quarterbacks that I’d immediately prefer over Rosen.
Patience also favors giving the Dolphins the chance to further evaluate whether they think Rosen can develop into a capable NFL quarterback. I can’t think of many examples of a player being thrown into a worse situation than what Rosen has seen in his first two seasons. His numbers in Arizona were.....well, less then pedestrian (217 of 393, 55.2%, 2278 yards, 11 TDs, 14 INTs, 66.7 rating). But that’s the kind of thing that can happen to a rookie quarterback who’s running for his life (he was sacked 45 times) while trying to learn the speed and complexity of the NFL game on the fly. A new coach, system, and Miami’s subpar offensive line did him no favors last year either as we all know, as he was sacked 16 times and seemed over his head from the early going.
But, if they receive a third or fourth round offer, they can somewhat mitigate the loss of the draft pick they invested in trying to see if Rosen was a franchise type of quarterback he was projected by scouts to be. Teams who whiff on quarterbacks are often set back substantially with invested draft stock trying to answer that question. However, the Dolphins could have the luxury of moving on with little impact.
Do I think such an offer would come quickly? Of course not, and it might take a desperate team close to the start of the season to maximize the Dolphins’ return. But Rosen is young and has a very intriguing aspect to would-be suitors: he’s cheap. His cap number is around $2.169 million in 2020 and $3.049 million in 2021, per overthecap.com.
It really comes down to this simple question: does Rosen’s value to the Dolphins as a backup outweigh the return they get for him? Time will dictate how those questions are answered. Fortunately, time is the one thing Miami has plenty of in this type of situation.