People have been all too ready to include the Patriots as contenders in the Josh Rosen sweepstakes.
There's certainly media buzz around the idea that if the Cardinals decide to trade their second-year quarterback to draft Kyler Murray No. 1 overall, Bill Belichick could land last year's No. 10 pick at a discount. Wouldn't it be utterly Belichickian, the thinking goes, to land Tom Brady's successor at bargain rate?
College football guru Bruce Feldman of the Athletic and Fox Sports 1 raised the idea on The Next Pats Podcast.
"Would you be able to get Josh Rosen with the 56th pick," Feldman asked? "My guess is no. But that might be a situation where if you could get him, have him sit . . . He's really football smart. He has a really good arm. I think he could learn under [Brady]. And they're really good at doing some bartering, moving picks around."
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said during the combine that if he was New England, parting with the No. 32 overall pick in exchange for Rosen would be such a no-brainer that he would do it "yesterday."
Then Peter King mentioned the Rosen-to-New-England possibility in his Football Morning in America column. Rosen to the Patriots for No. 32 overall "would be worth investigating," King wrote.
From what I've been told, though, it's unlikely the Patriots would swing a deal for Rosen unless the price was heavily discounted.
And the price may be heavily discounted. King asked an NFL general manager what Rosen's value would be in a trade. The answer? "Probably a three," the GM said.
The Redskins might be willing to give up more. Any number of teams might be. Rosen is incredibly inexpensive. He has about $2 million per year in cash remaining on his contract, meaning a team like Washington, which has already sunk a great deal of money into Alex Smith who's already been ruled out injured for 2019, might be willing to give up their first (No. 15 overall) to have the opportunity to tap into Rosen's potential.
If the Cards were willing to take a third, the Patriots currently have three third-round picks, including their own and two compensatory selections they were awarded for losing Nate Solder and Malcolm Butler as free agents last offseason. New England has 12 picks in all, and they probably won't be making 12 selections, so might they be willing to trade away a third for Rosen?
The Patriots might not be clamoring for the player, but that might represent good value in their eyes. Rosen looked like -- based on his height, weight and college production -- one of the best quarterback fits for the Patriots in last year's draft class even though it was clear he would never fall to the bottom of the first round.
Before the draft last spring, I spoke to one NFC evaluator assessing the quarterback group who said that Rosen was his favorite of a loaded class of passers that included Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson -- all eventual first-round picks. Rosen was believed to be a sharp young player and an accurate passer who had experience in multiple offensive systems to help him excel as a pro.
There were, however, concerns about his concussion history and his poise under pressure. There were also some concerns as to how he'd fit in an NFL locker room and how he'd handle hard coaching.
To Rosen's credit, and perhaps dispelling some of those concerns, he didn't seem to have any attitude issues in Arizona despite getting pummeled. He was sacked 45 times behind one of the worst offensive lines in football and completed only 55.2 percent of his passes at a clip of 5.8 yards per attempt.
Rosen was a top-10 pick for a reason. And if the Cardinals are looking to deal him, there is a team out there that'll give him a shot to compete for a job. But unless the price is right, unless the price is low, it won't be the Patriots.
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