With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching we are getting closer to the Dolphins selecting a new franchise quarterback with their top pick. Surprisingly, there is a version of history where the Dolphins found their franchise signal-caller last season. When Miami traded a second-round pick for former Cardinals quarterback and top-10 pick Josh Rosen there was some optimism he could be the answer for the Dolphins 20 year-long QB search.
It made sense at the time. Rosen was put into a difficult situation with the Cardinals who had a lame-duck coach and bad roster. During the pre-draft process, Rosen was regarded as one of the more “pro-ready” quarterbacks in the class. Sadly, he didn’t end up being the answer for the Dolphins for a number of reasons. Similar to his pre-draft process there were constant reports about personality concerns, he didn’t play well when on the field, and wasn’t nearly as NFL ready as he was billed coming out of UCLA.
The question now becomes what should the Dolphins do with him? Miami has three options: keep, cut, and trade. Let’s breakdown what the likelihood and ramifications of each option are.
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Dolphins Keep Rosen:
I think this is the most likely option for a number of reasons. The most prominent of those is Rosen essentially has zero trade value right now. He’s coming off a season in which he played in six games and started three while throwing for 567 yards, one touchdown, and five interceptions. I can’t say I see a lot of teams lining up to offer up some value for him.
Another thing to consider here is Rosen’s contract situation. His cap hit this season is just over 2 million dollars which is quite cheap compared to some of the other contract’s teams are handing out to backup quarterbacks.
If the Dolphins do keep Rosen it will give him an opportunity to have some sense of continuity and give him a chance to develop his game. He had a ton of different offensive coordinators while at UCLA and then spent just one season with Arizona before getting traded. Although Chan Gailey will bring another new system, Rosen will at least be a little more comfortable with his teammates this season which could lead to some growth in his game.
Dolphins Cut Rosen:
This is probably the second most likely option, although it would surprise me quite a bit. It would surprise me because Chris Grier is still the General Manager, and I don’t think he will want to quit on Rosen so easily. Miami traded a second-round pick for him which for a team doing a full scale rebuild is a valuable asset. General Managers have egos, and they don’t like to give up on moves they made after one season.
If the Dolphins were to cut Rosen, they wouldn’t even save money. Cutting him would generate just under five million dollars in dead cap space, which is peanuts compared to the amount of money Miami still has to spend. However, there is no good reason to take on five million dollars of dead cap when you are only paying him just over two million dollars.
Cutting Rosen accomplishes nothing.
Dolphins Trade Rosen:
I know I have said Rosen has next to zero trade value given his dreadful play thus far in his career but let’s have some fun. In this hypothetical scenario, let’s say the Dolphins were able to find a couple of teams interested in Rosen.
Even in a hypothetical scenario where the Dolphins found some trade partners, I can guarantee Miami will get nothing close to the second-round pick they gave up for him last season. If anything, the Dolphins might be able to garner a day-three pick.
Last offseason, Joe Flacco was traded to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick after losing his job to Lamar Jackson. Flacco was at the end of his career, but he was still a Super Bowl MVP and a highly productive player. Miami isn’t getting a fourth for Rosen.
Just a couple of weeks ago the Washington Redskins traded a fifth-round pick for Kyle Allen. Allen’s resume is much closer to Rosen’s which means he’s a better gauge for what Miami could get in a trade. However, there are some catches with that.
First, Allen outperformed Rosen by a wide margin last season. He finished with a 5-7 record and threw for 17 touchdown passes. Anyone who watches the Panthers will tell you Allen didn’t perform as good as his record would indicate, but you can’t deny he outplayed Rosen last season. Second, Washington’s new head coach is the Panthers’ former head coach, Ron Rivera. Rivera knows Allen understands their scheme making them more inclined to give up a fifth-round pick for him.
Rosen doesn’t know anyone’s scheme well enough for a head coach to feel comfortable offering a fifth rounder for him. This leaves Miami with the possibility of getting either a 6th or 7th round pick for Rosen. I believe if the Dolphins were going to trade him that would be the only picks teams would offer.
Miami is better served to keep him on the roster and try to develop him into a long-term backup for when Ryan Fitzpatrick finally hangs it up. Miami’s thought process was good when they traded for Rosen but sometimes things just don’t work out.