The Arizona Cardinals announced the team agreed to terms with first round pick Josh Rosen on Thursday.
It was never in question, with the new rookie slotting system, there is little negotiation that goes on anymore, but something even more important happened.
The Arizona Cardinals are officially on the clock when it comes to the quarterback discount.
There is not a single thing more important over the next four years than the Arizona Cardinals going all in and taking advantage of the fact they have a quarterback on the cheap.
I have talked about, ad nauseum, the quarterback tax that exists in the NFL. You will always pay it, whether it is in wins, if Rosen sucks, or once Rosen’s fifth year extension or second contract is signed.
In five years, the quarterback fifth year option will likely be in the $25 million a year range, while if Rosen is good, he’ll likely get something close to $35 million a season if the salary cap increases continue.
Even with the increase in cap space, that would still constitute a $20-30 million a year rise in pay for Rosen... Or, more importantly signing an Andrew Norwell and Chandler Jones type in free agency. That’s the cost savings the Cardinals are working with over the next four seasons.
If Rosen is good, it gives the Cardinals flexibility and the most important contract in the NFL, a cheap, cost controlled quarterback who can play.
It is an extremely small window, one that the Philadelphia Eagles recognized in year two with Carson Wentz, one the Seattle Seahawks were able to take advantage of in 2013 with Russell Wilson and now the Los Angeles Rams are trying to nail down with Jared Goff.
There is a different mentality you have as a team when you have a rookie contract at quarterback.
Despite Josh Rosen being unlikely to start in 2018, the Arizona Cardinals are already on the clock.
Will they be able to take advantage of the window they are in?