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Rosen’s relationship with the Cardinals might be getting too damaged to repair

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If the Cardinals do stick with Rosen, will he want them at this point?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I posed a seemingly innocuous poll question on my twitter account, related to the Arizona Cardinals and their process, using a work metaphor comparison:

First of all, as I said, this ain’t me at all (I love my job as almost anyone who knows me will tell you). And there were around 193 votes cast for “I wouldn’t want to continue working there.”

The responses this question got were varied in nature, indeed:

As some went and guessed, the question had to do directly with Josh Rosen’s current relationship with the Arizona Cardinals...

There were definitely some varied and interesting responses but the main idea stuck:

-If you hear that your boss is considering firing you, but then it doesn’t happen and you’re retained the majority of people said that you should look for another position.

Which, of course, begs the question if Josh Rosen (who probably can’t even log in to post onto his twitter without seeing Kyler Murray speculation) is able to hear about the Cardinals potentially replacing him with someone else, why would he want to stay?

If you’re at your workplace and your boss gives indication enough that he doesn’t believe in you and wants to replace you, I kinda have to side with Josh.

Sure, I’m lawfully and contractually obligated to my employer, but if I can find another job and am in demand, I’d prefer to leave.

That’s just the way it is. You have no guarantee they won’t try to replace you in the future and there will be a lot of awkward tension. Do I think Josh Rosen would demand a trade, even if Arizona passes on Murray?

No....but I think it’d get awkward that next season between the coaches and the rest of the staff. It’s like if you and your girlfriend got engaged and a week later you’re at a party and she’s flirting with another guy, right?

You’d kinda want that ring back....

Now perhaps, there’s a deeper level to this and some misdirection going on, as many have believed. Rather than using a “the boss is testing your loyalty” example let’s try this one:

-Let’s say that you’re at that same party BUT when your fianceé is flirting with another man it’s for a specific reason and point:

  • You both talked about it ahead of time & your relationship is clear with plenty of trust
  • There was a set and established goal with the flirting
  • The outcome was for the other man’s wife to see her own husband flirting with someone at the party so that they would be convinced to dump him or , potentially, see how loyal he is.

This exact tactic was masterfully used to manipulate a billionaire by master spies in Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol below:

In short, what did the kiss do for our heroes? It made the billionaire jealous seeing her with another woman and thinking “I’ve GOT to have her!” Perhaps that’s what the Cardinals are doing with Kyler Murray and Josh Rosen.

However, if they are not...then the relationship will undoubtedly have fractures in the foundation.

Arizona drafted Rosen to be the future, added a coach to help build an offense around him...and has since seemingly thrown away that rock solid trust. If the team wanted to trade down from Kyler Murray, the best player to advertise in that need would be Nick Bosa.

Why? Because casting a shadow of doubt on your own quarterback doesn’t just split your fanbase or have other teams feel they need to give up the farm for that guy.

It also kills a LOT of trust and the reputation of your own QB, which is currently Josh Rosen. I don’t know if Rosen shows up for camp next week or not (odds would favor he would a la Adam Green’s “you keep showing up but look for another job” tweet above) but it’ll be an awkward interview if he does.

Did Arizona’s flirting mean that Rosen might demand a trade anyway, even should the team pass on Kyler Murray?

Is that relationship, then, beyond repair?

I’m not convinced of that just yet.

Sure, in a job or a business, it’s easy to repair some relationships through money, in the case of a pay raise. It happens in the NFL all the time and while it’s not the best fix, it at least is a sign of commitment.

Such a thing, however, wouldn’t really be able to happen with Rosen as he’s not due for a new contract extension for 3 more years at the earliest.

And if the team drafts Nick Bosa, something they could have done the entire time at #1, they’ll essentially have dragged Josh Rosen’s name through the mud and the muck for no real reason at all except to confuse teams. He’s a human being. That’s not worth it enough for someone to say “It’s just a business.”

And perhaps, in that sense it is. Business has it’s drawbacks too, though.

Think about if someone in your sales department slandered you enough that you stopped getting leads and finally when it was proven untrue, the damage still remained. Rosen will always have a question mark or two hanging over his head as long as he is in Arizona if the team sticks with him.

Perhaps Rosen uses it as motivation or due to it being a special industry there aren’t as many hard feelings and the team can move on with a functional level of relationship.

I don’t know if that happens though.

Realistically, I think that there’s only one option left (assuming the team will work to communicate their true intentions to Josh Rosen) to repair the relationship.

You trade down.

And show your commitment to Josh buy building around him & taking all offensive players. If your entire scheme has been to coerce Jon Gruden into giving up a plethora of picks, spending one on Quinnen Williams, Nick Bosa, Josh Allen or more really doesn’t do much when you could have taken them at #1 and instead added a few more picks.

Rather, build around Josh completely and let him know the plan.

If Oakland somehow gave up 3 1sts, don’t take Quinnen Williams, even if he’s the best player. Take Jonah Williams and a wide receiver/tight end or a guard, too.

Establishing Josh Rosen as your quarterback by using what you’ve received to help him as much as possible is the only solution I can see that might be able to mend up a bridge that, while not collapsed or broken, is definitely being burned with each new story.

If the team determines not to do that, or if the team keeps two Quarterbacks, it might very well turn out poorly.

Or perhaps Arizona’s game of smoke and mirrors isn’t as much at all and AZ and Rosen have done enough damage to each other that Rosen’s content to move on, and perhaps might even welcome it.

I just know that Cardinals fans will be afraid that out of the “9 mistakes” in front of where Rosen was taken, that they and their team will become the 10th as another vindictive quarterback with a chip on his shoulder leaves Kliff Kingsbury behind once more for a fresh, new star.

You can follow @blakemurphy7 on Twitter and the Revenge of The Birds podcast: