Arizona Cardinals Left with Fallout from Kyler Murray, Josh Rosen Decision
The Arizona Cardinals have to move forward with their second top 10 selected quarterback in the past two seasons.
Updated: May 21, 2019 • 6:50 PM ET
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim hopes to have finally found his quarterback.
In a move that surprised absolutely no one, the Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray No. 1 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, just one year after the team traded up to snag once predicted franchise quarterback Josh Rosen. Though the Cardinals’ decision to go with Murray had little suspense, the biggest shocker was how they handled the Rosen situation.
You would think that a team predicted to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall in an upcoming draft would immediately look for trading options for the current quarterback on their roster. Well, you would have thought wrong. It’s utterly baffling to anyone paying attention to the current state of football that a team would blunder a significant trade such as the one the Cardinals had.
What exactly was the game plan for Cardinals general manager Steve Keim that he would enter the 2019 draft with Rosen still on the roster? Worse yet, he never expressed to the young QB the team’s intent to trade him away.
So after finally trading Rosen during the second round of the draft, what did the Cardinals get in return for their 2018 10th-overall draft pick? A second-round pick in the draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft.
Are you kidding me? That for a potential future franchise quarterback? There’s only one word to describe the trade: inept.
No one can, or at least shouldn’t, blame the Cardinals for moving on from their previous head coach, Steve Wilks. Registering one of the Cardinals’ worst seasons in six decades at 3-13 (what should have been 1-15 had division rival San Francisco not been bitten so harshly by the injury bug), posting worse numbers than the 0-16 Cleveland Browns and showing regression, not improvement, throughout the year, demonstrated that the hire was a mistake.
What was more inept than their coaching hire was how they handled the Rosen situation. If you’re going to draft a new franchise quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick, you owe it to the man you drafted the previous year to let him know.
There’s no other way to paint this; the Cardinals did Josh Rosen dirty. The team did the poor kid the same way last year, too, when the ineptitude and carousel of horrible offensive coaches put the kid behind the worst offensive line in football with virtually no passing weapons outside of Larry Fitzgerald. It’s a miracle that Rosen even finished the season in one piece.
Look, it makes sense if your new head coach wants his quarterback that he believes fits his system better. And if they truly believe that Murray is the better decision moving forward, they had to make the decision to take him. But they should have let Rosen know what was happening and been upfront with him from the beginning, heeding any and all trades.
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Rosen could have left one bad situation for another by being traded to another inept organization in the New York Giants, which wound up spending the sixth-overall pick on Duke’s Daniel Jones. You’re telling me that the Cardinals couldn’t have squeezed Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, the man who traded Odell Beckham to the Browns, for something better?
The fact is, Keim waited too long. The Cardinals bluffed, and everyone called it. And a year after the atrocity that was the 2018 season, Keim needs to prove he’s still capable of putting a winning product on the field.
Too many mistakes were made last year, and the team is now taking an enormous gamble on new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who has never coached in the NFL and posted a losing record as the head coach of Texas Tech.
There’s little room for error now. If the risks don’t pay off, Cardinals fans will find themselves back to saying, “Same old Cardinals,” again.