Why Rosen joining 49ers right now is 'exciting' to Shanahan


Josh Rosen's NFL career hasn't started how he expected. In fact, it hasn't started how anyone expected.

Rosen, 23, was the No. 10 pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft. He played 14 games -- 13 starts -- as a rookie and has started just three games since. The former UCLA star was traded to the Miami Dolphins before his second season as a pro, and then was waived by Miami in September. He has spent the entire season on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad. 

Now, he might find himself in the perfect position. 

The 49ers officially signed Rosen to a one-year contract on Wednesday. With Nick Mullens out for the final two games of the season to an elbow injury, and Jimmy Garoppolo likely missing the final two games as well, Rosen will serve as C.J. Beathard's backup. And Kyle Shanahan certainly is happy to have his newest QB. 

"For Josh to be willing to come here, especially leaving a place that he was in, with a team that's most likely going to the playoffs and maybe can do some stuff after, that was exciting for us," Shanahan said Wednesday on KNBR. "And to also know that we got a guy in here who did get drafted in the first round, who's got some ability with his arm, it was exciting.

"We were going to get someone, and we need that body. And to get someone with his ability was pretty cool."


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Rosen has ideal NFL size at 6-foot-4 and 226 pounds. He has a strong arm but has struggled with accuracy. Over three seasons in college, he completed 60.9 percent of his passes and has a 54.8 completion percentage in 20 games as a pro. But it doesn't help that Rosen has been on a Merry-go-round of head coaches and offensive coordinators in college and the pros. 

So, is Rosen auditioning for a chance to get into the final two games or a chance to be on the 49ers in 2021? It sounds like the latter, with a twist. 

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"Everyone gets evaluated that way," Shanahan said. "But the way I'm looking at it is the way I just told you in terms of we needed to bring (in) a guy. For it to be a guy who was a first-round pick just [two years ago], that's a bonus.

"So, I'm excited to have a guy in here with that ability that we are going to look at."

The 49ers just added a first-round talent basically for nothing. This is a win-win in every sense of the word.