After failing to trade Josh Rosen on day one of the draft, details have emerged about how general manager Steve Keim approached making a deal.
The most surprising element of the Arizona Cardinals taking Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall was not his selection. Rather, it was his selection not immediately being followed by a trade of 2018 first-round pick, quarterback Josh Rosen.
When the first round ended late Thursday night, Rosen was (and still is) on the Cardinals roster. The team has even expressed that it may end up keeping Rosen on the roster during the season, rather than trading him.
This is an unmitigated disaster for a team trying to implement a new coaching staff, a new offense, and a first-time NFL head coach. The last thing that they need is a quarterback controversy to boot.
Details have emerged this morning which have outlined just how the Cardinals chose to handle the situation surrounding taking Murray at the top of the draft. Or rather, how they chose not to handle it.
For starters, General Manager Steve Keim and coach Kliff Kingsbury chose not to notify Josh Rosen of the impending draft selection. Rosen finally heard from the head coach while the draft was showing Murray receiving the phone call from Keim in the Green Room. This is highly unusual and, frankly, disrespectful.
In addition to this personal slight on Rosen, the team also chose to not field calls on trading Rosen until just minutes before they went on the clock. The team has been on the clock since January. They have, in all likelihood, known they were taking the former Sooner for weeks, if not months. In this instance, the general manager’s primary responsibility should have been to secure a trade for the outgoing starter or at least know what trades were possible.
Obviously, that trade should not have been completed until the draft card was submitted in the event that Arizona was blown away by an offer to trade down. But the deal should have been in place.
As it was, the Cardinals were left looking for a trade partner during the entirety of the first round Thursday night, and no one wanted to give up a first-round pick in return. Worse, the Cardinals watched the trade market evaporate once the Giants took Daniel Jones and Washington got their top quarterback in Dwayne Haskins. The Cardinals now have less leverage than ever with teams such as Miami and the Los Angeles Chargers possibly interested.
General sentiment around the league is that Rosen will likely be traded to the Dolphins, who desperately need a starting quarterback. However, we should also keep an eye on the teams rumored to be interested in Drew Lock at the bottom of the first round (who ended up, obviously, passing): The Chargers, Green Bay and New England.
With details emerging Friday morning that Rosen has started unfollowing Arizona Cardinal social media accounts, it seems like a trade is inevitable. When Keim is forced to accept a second- or third-day draft pick for a quarterback selected in the first round just one year earlier, it will be a failure of colossal proportions for a franchise desperately trying to rebuild a roster.