The Redskins drafted RG3 in 2012 then came back in the fourth round and selected Kirk Cousins.
Jason Fitzgerald, one of the brains behind OverTheCap, published an article this week suggesting that the Arizona Cardinals should double-dip by drafting 1st round quarterbacks in back-to-back years.
A team should be doing everything in its power to find a quarterback. And more often than not finding that quarterback occurs in the draft. Free agency is a pretty rare place to find someone. Sure Drew Brees shook free a million years ago and landed in New Orleans and the jury is still out on last year’s big signing of Kirk Cousins, but mainly its overpaying for the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, Brock Osweiler, and Case Keenum. So you need to draft the position.
The problem is drafting a player doesn’t mean you get it right. Yet teams refuse to embrace that possibility. They focus instead on the development of who they have. The Jets drafted Christian Hackenberg in the 2nd round and in part passed on drafting Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes because they thought they could develop Hackenberg. The Jaguars did the same with those two because they had the still developing Blake Bortles.
The fact is most of the draft picks at the position are not a success. Using profootballreference.com and their handy draft finder here are the percentage of QB’s to go to a Pro Bowl based on where a player was drafted from 2000 through 2015.
So if you look at where Rosen lands in all of this he is in the 21% category. By no means is he a sure thing even if you do surround him with talent and get the greatest QB minds in the world to work with him. He may very well be an average or worse starter in the league. He could be a star like Patrick Mahomes and you cant discount that possibility but why bank on it when the odds are against it?
With Murray you are adding somewhere around a 60% hit rate to the equation. So where is a team better off? Having just the 20%ish hit rate possibility with Rosen or having a 60% and a 20% chance with both? The odds of both failing is going to be in the low 30% range. That’s much better than the 75-80% chance of failure you have now by just sticking with Rosen.
To optimize the chance of success you want to try to develop both unless you are offered a haul for Rosen.
What would that haul be? More than what they gave up and what they gave up was the 10, 79 and 152. Even though Rosen didn’t play well last year why would I say hes worth more than that? The Cardinals already paid about 65% of the contract. So not only are you getting a top 10 drafted QB you are getting him after another team picked up all the risk in the contract.
The average salary remaining for Rosen is just $2.08 million a year. That’s about what Matt Barkley is earning from the Bills. That has to be worth a fortune to a team. The Cardinals would be doing themselves a disservice to assume all the financial risk and just sell for pennies on the dollar because they found a new toy.
Fitzgerald is a somewhat disinterested 3rd party who studies player value for a living. He, at times, has unorthodox views, or views that are out of step with the mainstream. In this case, Fitzgerald says that the Cardinals need to get back what they put into Rosen because — well.. there just isn’t any reason to get rid of him just because you drafted Kyler Murray. The team has already paid 65% of his contract, and they need to be able to recoup that investment.
Personally, I think it’s more reasonable for the Cardinals to expect to get back about 65% of what they put into selecting Rosen, which would probably equate to a first or second round pick — not multiple picks. After all, by drafting him, then dumping him, the Cardinals would be saying he wasn’t worth as much as they spent. Also, they’ve already used up his valuable rookie year, which the trade partner can’t get back.
The trade could benefit both teams, and the player - a true win-win-win — but Arizona should not be expecting more than a single draft pick because they are the ones that have devalued their own asset.
Still, I think everyone needs to come to grips with the point being made in the OverTheCap article; the Cardinals don’t have to get rid of Rosen just because they draft Kyler Murray first overall.
Any trade partner would be seeing the situation through rose(n) colored glasses to think that they could get Rosen from the Cardinals for just a 3rd round pick (or a bundle of lower round picks) because the option for the Cardinals is to simply keep Rosen at the cost of just $6.2m for three seasons, which is the amount of salary cap they would shed by trading him. It’s cheap insurance at the backup position.
Whatever amount of compensation is agreed upon (if the trade happens), Arizona fans will likely think it too little and Redskins fans likely think it too much. In my opinion, the Redskins need the trade more than the Cardinals do, so I think that the deal — if it happens at all — sees Cardinal fans slightly happier than Redskins fans when all is said and done.