The Redskins need to add quarterbacks to their roster, which Jay Gruden and Doug Williams admitted during media sessions at the NFL Scouting Combine last week in Indianapolis.
That’s not news.
What is news, and what will continue to develop, is that the Redskins' next passer could hinge on what the Cardinals decide to do at the top of the draft.
Arizona holds the first pick this April, and some reports show that new head coach Kliff Kingsbury has called selecting University of Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray a “done deal.” If that happens, the Cardinals will definitely want to trade their current QB, 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen.
Life comes at you fast in the NFL.
Last year, the Cards traded up in the first round to take Rosen with the 10th overall pick. Considered by some to be the best passer in a loaded 2018 quarterback draft class, Rosen underwhelmed in the desert last season. He threw 14 interceptions against 11 touchdowns and completed just 55 percent of his passes in 13 starts.
It was ugly, and the team was awful.
But multiple scouts at the 2019 combine told NBC Sports Washington that Rosen would rank very favorably in this year’s QB draft class, and one described Rosen with “crazy arm talent.”
So, if Arizona takes Murray, could Washington trade for Rosen?
The Redskins are quite interested in Rosen, particularly because he has at least three years left on his rookie contract. The salaries are low and the potential is high.
Compensation will likely determine if a trade happens. The talk after Rosen’s disappointing rookie year is that he might only cost a third-round pick.
If so, Washington should pick the phone up ASAP. The team has two picks in the third round, including one as compensation from losing Kirk Cousins to free agency. It would be peak irony if the Redskins get a new QB of the future earned from letting their last QB of the future walk away.
Even at a second-round pick, Rosen might be worth the cost. The 15th selection, Washington’s first-round choice, might be too pricey for a team with numerous holes to fill. Don’t forget either, maybe the Redskins can do a player-for-player trade to gain Rosen.
There’s also a much wilder scenario if Arizona doesn’t take Murray.
The Redskins brass made little attempt to hide their fondness for the 2018 Heisman winner. Gruden said Murray would make an "excellent quarterback" and Williams compared him to Russell Wilson.
Some league sources believe that Washington would try a big move into the Top 5 to select Murray if the Cardinals don’t take him at No. 1.
That would likely require a swap of first-round picks along with a Pro Bowl caliber player and likely more compensation later in the draft. Along with four picks inside the Top 100, the Redskins have multiple picks in the third and fifth rounds.
Of the first five teams selecting in this year’s draft, only the 49ers at No. 2 and the Jets at No. 3 definitely won't take a quarterback. And based on the dynamic between San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan and the Redskins organization, don’t expect any mutually beneficial trades between the two clubs.
That leaves the Jets, a team with lots of salary cap room and holes all over the field, as the most likely trade partner for Bruce Allen if he decides the Redskins need to move way up.
It’s unlikely, but it’s not crazy.
Acquiring Rosen seems much more plausible, but the ‘Skins would be wise to remember he will have other suitors.
For Rosen, especially if the trade compensation doesn’t get into the first round, teams with veteran QBs nearing the end of their careers might get involved, too. The Giants, the Chargers and the Patriots could all make sense with the idea that Rosen could sit for a year and learn behind Eli Manning, Philip Rivers or Tom Brady, respectively.
Rosen could also be a target in Miami, Cincinnati or Jacksonville, assuming the Jags don’t sign Nick Foles.
The Redskins need a quarterback. The Cardinals seem very likely to have a quarterback conundrum. Maybe things can be worked out to the benefit of both sides.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- Making Moves: Brown or not, Redskins poised for aggressive offseason
- Pros and Cons: The case for and against trading for Brown
- Time to Talk: Redskins meet with Kyler Murray, other top QBs at Combine