Have the Redskins emerged as the favorites to land Josh Rosen? It's starting to appear that way.
All signs point to the Cardinals taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft later this month, and if that happens, there's no way Arizona is keeping Rosen on the roster.
That means the Cards need to move their 2018 first-rounder, and do so without a whole lot of leverage.
Enter the Redskins, a team with a long-term hole at QB. Washington wants to add a young passer, but their current financial commitment to injured Alex Smith makes that hard.
Rosen would be perfect because the Cardinals are already paid his signing bonus and he's owed less than $2 million for the 2019 season.
The Murray-to-Arizona speculation started growing at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, and the Rosen-to-Washington rumors started almost immediately thereafter. They haven't slowed.
The latest came from ESPN's Todd McShay, who said of Rosen on his podcast, "I keep hearing Washington. They are the most likely of teams. They seem to be the most interested in Josh Rosen."
Being the most likely makes sense. The 2019 rookie crop of signal callers lacks star power.
Murray might be a star, but questions remain for Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock. Still, expect both to go before the 'Skins draft with the 15th overall pick.
Daniel Jones could be there at 15, and the Redskins will host the Duke QB next week for a pre-draft visit. Expect a visit from West Virginia QB Will Grier, too.
Still, most talent evaluators would rank Rosen only behind Murray if the former UCLA star was in the 2019 draft class.
Josh Norris, a draft analyst at Rotoworld, believes Rosen could be a real fit in the Redskins offense.
"Rosen would be a great pickup," Norris said via text message. "I think his success is very much tied to offensive line talent, and if healthy, Washington has a good one."
For months, sources inside Redskins Park have been clear that their first-round pick is not involved in a possible offer for Rosen. But don't rule out a package of picks spread out over two seasons, like a 2019 second-rounder and a 2020 third-rounder and an additional late round pick in either season.
For the Redskins, Rosen might present the rare intersection of value and talent.
For the Cardinals to move Rosen means they've lost tremendous leverage, as the team is setting forward with a new QB. Every NFL team knows that, and in turn, Arizona won't be made whole on their 2018 investment of the 10th overall pick.
Rosen wasn't good as a rookie last year, but that doesn't mean he won't be good. And in Washington, he won't have the pressure of starting right away, as the team has Case Keenum and Colt McCoy to battle it out at starting QB for 2019.
Rosen to the Redskins is far from a done deal.
But as long as Washington holds on to its 15th pick in 2019, it is the deal that makes the most sense. With four picks among the first 96 selections, the Redskins have the war chest and the need to pull this move off.
Keep in mind, however, the Redskins front office usually makes big moves in silence.
There was no hint that the 'Skins were moving to get Alex Smith last year until it happened. Same this year with Case Keenum.
Bruce Allen runs trades in Washington, and Bruce Allen keeps his moves very close to the vest.
That doesn't mean it won't happen. That certainly doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. If a deal does happen, however, Redskins fans should be prepared to wait all the way up until maybe even draft day for any news to emerge.
Or it could happen tomorrow.
The NFL is a wild ride. Buckle up. In the Rosen pursuit, the Redskins appear to be in the driver's seat.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- QB Countdown: Why Kyler Murray isn't the best fit for the 'Skins
- Redskins Mock Draft Roundup: Post-free agency edition expert picks
- 2019 Draft Bracket: Lock is the easy choice vs. Lawrence