Arizona Cardinals, NFL

Josh Rosen leaving Arizona with a touch of class and two trophies

Quarterback Josh Rosen, traded to the Miami Dolphins on Friday, stuck around Arizona on Saturday to dominate Larry Fitzgerald’s celebrity softball game

Josh Rosen’s time in Arizona came to an end much more suddenly than he would’ve imagined, but on Saturday he was determined to give Cardinals fans a proper sendoff.

Rosen was traded to the Miami Dolphins on Friday night, a day after the Cardinals replaced him by drafting Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. But he didn’t leave for South Florida right away. Instead, he decided to keep one final commitment to his now-former teammates.

Rosen attended Larry Fitzgerald’s Celebrity Softball Game, which benefits Fitzgerald’s First Down Fund, on Saturday at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Not only did Rosen play in the game, but he was the star of the night. First, he hit nine home runs to win the home run derby. Then, in the actual game, he hit two more home runs and added an RBI single as his team beat Fitzgerald’s 18-6. Rosen took game MVP honors to go along with his home run derby trophy.

The now-departed quarterback showed he bears no ill will to Arizona for how the situation with Murray was handled. He spent much of the night signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. After he was done hitting in the home run derby, he made sure to find former teammate David Johnson and watched the rest of the competition with Johnson’s family. For Fitzgerald, that level of commitment just goes to show what kind of person Rosen is.

“I think that’s just a testament to who he is as a man,” Fitzgerald told AZCentral. “He could have very easily gone down to Miami already, or just said, ‘Hey, I’m not gonna do it,’ but it shows you his commitment, his character and just friendship. I’m very fortunate to call him a friend.”

After the game, Rosen was asked to say a few words of farewell to the Cardinals’ fans who’ve gotten to know him over the past year. “I just want to say thank you to everybody,” he said. “We didn’t win as many games as I would have hoped, but I had a great time and an unbelievable year. Sad to see it up, but new chapters, new beginnings, and I’m excited for things to come. I’ll always be a Cardinal and root for you guys for as long as I’m on my feet.”

The 22-year-old Rosen started 13 games for the Cardinals in his rookie season after being drafted 10th-overall out of UCLA, throwing for nearly 2,300 yards and 11 touchdowns. But Arizona clearly felt they couldn’t pass up on the Heisman Trophy winner, and now Rosen will compete for Miami’s quarterback job with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick

Next: NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

It remains to be seen what kind of quarterback Rosen will develop into in Miami. But, as he showed on Saturday, the Dolphins can be sure they’re getting one heck of a man.

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