Cardinals didn’t shop Josh Rosen until after they drafted Kyler Murray


When it comes to protecting the ultimate reality show’s ultimate reality show, certain sacrifices need to be made, apparently.

A story regarding quarterback Josh Rosen‘s clunky exit from Arizona contains a telling revelation regarding the effort to trade the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft. The Cardinals didn’t start the process until after they made quarterback Kyler Murray the first overall pick in this year’s draft.

Via Robert Klemko of, G.M. Steve Keim asked Rosen’s agent, Ryan Williams, whether the Patriots may have interest in Rosen — after the Murray selection.

“Williams was taken aback and grew angry,” Klemko writes. “How did Keim not already know the answer? The whole world knew, or had a good idea, that the Cardinals were taking Murray on Thursday. Why the secrecy? Why are we negotiating trade terms now instead of weeks ago?” (Emphasis in original.)

The obvious, and only logical, answer is this: The NFL wanted to maximize the relevance of its TV show.

If Rosen had been traded at any point before the draft, it instantly would have become obvious that the Cardinals were taking Murray. Which would have prevented ESPN and NFL Network from spending weeks generating false hype for a decision that secretly was a fait accompli.

And Arizona amazingly went along with it, helping boost the total viewership of the draft to, the league contends, 47.5 million over three days. (If you’re curious as to why I’m skeptical, it wouldn’t be the first time that the league was more than a little self-serving about the millions who were, or weren’t, served.)

So here’s the real question: What did the Cardinals get in return for undermining their short- and long-term strategic interests by failing to maximize the return for Rosen? Another Super Bowl in the desert? The draft? Something else the team has been lobbying for that may not be obvious?

Whatever it is, here’s hoping it was worth it. Because the Cardinals surely could have done better than pick No. 62 this year and a fifth-round selection next year if it had launched an auction at some point in March, and if it had shipped Rosen to the highest bidder, with teams like the Giants, Washington, the Chargers, and the Patriots also potentially at the table, regardless of whether the world would have known that the Cardinals would be drafting Kyler Murray.

40 responses to “Cardinals didn’t shop Josh Rosen until after they drafted Kyler Murray

  1. No one was sending the Cards a first for Rosen. Cards got back as good as they were going to get.

  2. If this true dumbest front office in NFL. After they drafted Murray they lost all their leverage to sweeten the pot trading Rosen. No joke 1/2 of the fans of the NFL are as competent as some of the gms!

  3. Speculate much ? Or like everyone else knew and all teams knew he would be available and should have had the best offer ready to go once Murray was drafted .

  4. >>If Rosen had been traded at any point before the draft, it instantly would have become obvious that the Cardinals were taking Murray.

    Keims allegiance is to the team not the NFL. Unless the owner told him not to shop Rosen.

    The cards could have gotten more for him than they did, so its just as well they screwed themselves and got less.
    I hope Rosen turns out better than Murray.

  5. …..and the NFL Network analysts lambasted AZ on air during draft show for how they handled Rosen trade and draft. AZ should really explain what the direction/assurances from NFL regarding this matter they received. Right now, it just looks like incompetence.

  6. i don’t put anything past the NFL, but I’m not buying this one. The only logical answer is that the Cardinals wanted to trade down. That would have been the best case (right now) but I’m guessing they never got the bonanza of picks they were after. As for Rosen, an above poster hit the nail; nobody was going to give a #1 for Rosen. They almost didn’t get a second rounder!

    If KM works his magic nobody will remember this story. I’ll be following them for sure.

  7. They had the #1 pick, so why wouldn’t you increase demand by making more teams know he is available to drive price?

    Keim’s IQ is well below 100. They’re so dumb.

  8. How would shopping Rosen before the draft have gotten a better return for AZ than shopping him after making the pick? Everyone knew Murray would be the pick and Rosen would be available but, okay, let us play along and pretend that some teams weren’t entirely sure. The moment Arizona pick was announced everyone knew Rosen was available in trade. The Dolphins, Giants, Washington, Chargers, and the Patriots had OVER AN HOUR after the pick was announced to call up Arizona and make an offer before any of them were on the clock. Each of those teams knew other teams were interested in Rosen and so, yeah, there could have been competition between them. But there wasn’t much of a competition because most of those teams weren’t interested. New Jersey and Washington had QBs they wanted in the draft while the Chargers and Patriots just weren’t interested. That left Miami. And it left Arizona with little bargaining power…..which is fitting for a team moving on from a 1st round QB one year after drafting him. Call it a stupidity tax.

  9. All you AZ fans here trying to justify your incompetent front office is hilarious. The GOODELL machine played them like a fiddle. Let’s keep the suspense as if the draft really is t much more then an educated crap shoot.

  10. I called in to the Dog show and made this point, he didn’t totally buy it.

    Every GM is afraid a Hunt-like tape or video will come out on one of their players every night when they go to sleep. Same for prospective draftees.

    Cards couldn’t accept the risk of trading their current guy before they drafted the new one. Throw in the oddball injury/car accident kind of thing.

    And plus – yes, an early auction.. but teams would KNOW that there is no leverage because everyone already assumed they were taking Murray.

  11. His value was highest on draft day when teams would worry about getting him. Many teams could have had Rosen for less pick cake and actuall dollars than Jones, haskins, lock, but decided they preferred other people. It’s just that simple.
    Cards also waited until draft day to see if someone was willing to offer and rg3 type trade for Murray. Not sure why these simple concepts are so hard to understand

  12. As a Dolphins fan, I want to thank the Cardinals organization for the trade of Josh Rosen. Thank you! I feel like we threw in that 5th rounder because we turned that 2nd rounder into a very late, almost 3rd rounder, plus we got a 2nd rounder for next year, which was RIDICULOUS!!!

  13. The timing wasn’t right on a Patriots trade. Brady has 2 or 3 years left and Rosen would be bitter if he had to wait.

    Stidham looks like he could be a good one anyway.

  14. Frankly, besides the Cards getting hammered, how about the teams in front of the Dolphins that passed on a great opportunity?? Rosen is a low risk, high reward option.

  15. They were worried someone make take Murray with the 0th pick, so they had to wait to trade Rosen just in case.

  16. The Redskins were the first team to send out feelers about Rosen at the combine. Of course the Redskins and Cardinals will deny that they inquired about Rosen now but c’mon everyone knew the Cardinals were going to take Murray after the combine. The reports say the Redskins were going to offer the Cardinals their 2nd and one of their mid round picks of this years drat shows how incompetent the Cardinals front office is.

  17. shuzaam says:
    April 30, 2019 at 9:04 pm
    As a Dolphins fan, I want to thank the Cardinals organization for the trade of Josh Rosen. Thank you! I feel like we threw in that 5th rounder because we turned that 2nd rounder into a very late, almost 3rd rounder, plus we got a 2nd rounder for next year, which was RIDICULOUS!!!
    As a cards fan I am happy as well. Rosen has taken but real maturity issues. After we selected Murray he unliked the cards and players on social media. He also had real accuracy issues. There is talent there, he was a better prospect than Jones and haskins. Card snagged the fastest and most productive wr in the draft with the pick. will tell how these trades worked out.

    But as a cards fan, I really dont want to see anymore games where we only had 1 or 2 first downs in the 1st half of a football game. Pretty sure Murray can do that with his feet alone.

  18. All this proves that Steve Keim is a complete and total turkey. The Cards had the #1 pick in this years draft. They should have known who they wanted to take weeks ago. After all the Cards have had months to decide. Once they decided they wanted to draft Murray, the should have had discussions about trading Rosen. Waiting to actually draft Murray, then trying to open discussions after the draft is just plain stupid. Once again Kein outsmarted himself. Time and time again, he proves himself incapable of doing his job. I have to wonder why Michael Bidwell keeps him employed.

  19. It’s humorous how some people think the football business is rocket science. There was a lot of speculation prior to the draft of Rosen’s worth. It was generally speculated for weeks that the Cards would be asking for a first at minimum. The Giants were not down for either of their 2 first round picks, nor their high second. They did not think Rosen would be available by the third round, so they passed. People discount the fact that the Cards considered keeping Rosen as a low-cost backup until his sour attitude about that arrangement made it apparent he would be too great a distraction in the locker room. K2 may have lobbied Keim to, please, get rid of the distraction. But Rosen’s bad rookie season meant that the Cards had no leverage. Apparently their only hope was a deadline deal, and they got the best they could. It may look bad from the outside, but few know what really occurred behind the scenes.

  20. Another possibility might be that another team could have offered them enough for the #1 pick that they would have kept Rosen as their QB.

  21. After Murray was drafted on Thursday, ‘Rosen unfollowed the team’s social media pages on Friday, a move that was met with criticism.’. The Cards were probably not impressed with Rosen’s mental toughness – or that of his agent.

  22. Trading Rosen ahead of time as well would have put Murray in the driver’s seat as well in any language the Cards wanted in the contract that had him not playing baseball at any point , trade Rosen and the leverage is gone , apparently that was worked out right before the draft “The NO Baseball Thing” that would never have happened if Rosen was not waiting in the wings.

  23. Dolphins are the same team that chose Culpepper over Brees. I do not even understand why they traded Rosen seeing that he was still under a rookie contract. Maybe they do not think that he could develop into a better QB and tried to fleece the 1st team that offered a first round pick.

  24. They could have “shopped” the #1 pick to teams that wanted Murray if they had any inclination that Rosen was a franchise QB. Apparently they did not think that he could be and other teams did not want to spend that capital on a lemon that AZ bought last year. Honest.. The car runs great.

  25. One thing to consider is that Rosen still must prove he’s all that. Remember Haskins was on the board and the Fins passed on him. The jury is still out on what the Fins got and what they could have got. We’ll see.

  26. Josh Rosen was never coming to NE. The Patriots got a steal in round 4 with TB12’s newest backup.

  27. The Cardinals handled this all wrong. Period. They waited until after they drafted Murray when teams were focused on the next big thing (who they could get in the draft).

    FIrst, according to some ion the media, they overvalued Rosen. They wanted a first round or an extremely high second. So much so that they allegedly rejected offers that were better then what they ultimately received.

    Second, instead of at least entertaining trade discussions before the draft when teams are afraid the player/position they want won’t be available, they waited until after they picked. As each 15 minute period elapsed, the leverage the Cards had got weaker and weaker. The Cards had less time to determine if they could even get what they wanted. And, teams were willing to bet that they could get their player and if not, that the demands of the Cards would lessen as each needy team filled their needs at QB.

    Murray may end up as a good player, but a better executed plan could have gotten him a better player to go with him.

  28. Actually, Rosen is the one that has handled the trade with class. He stayed an extra day to fulfill his obligation with Larry Fitzgerald, received a standing ovation for that, won the Home Run Derby. Made a video taking the High Road with the Cardinals, offered Murray his 2 bedroom apartment that he was vacating. What kind of GM gives up on a TOP draft pick that he TRADED UP to get only a year ago for the Franchise QB. To me, that is where the fault lies. And what happens when Kyler Murray gets that “Welcome to the NFL” hit. He just might take his HUGE SIGNING BONUS and go play some baseball. What will you think of your GM then, Cardinal fans???

  29. I’m going to put a bookmark on this article in the back of my brain. I’ll pull it out in the next five years when they decide to put the NFL Combine on the road like they have with the draft. Who wouldn’t rather be in Phoenix/Scottsdale/Tempe in February rather than Indianapolis?

  30. Wow…

    There are so many people here that are so quick to pound the Cardinals with connecting all the dots… The Cardinals brought in Murray for a visit as well as Bosa and William’s.

    They never brought in another QB, because they weren’t shopping Rosen, they were shopping the #1 overall…

    So there draft plan was this.

    1) Trade the pick, keep Rosen ( or draft Murray if he fell to their draft slot)
    2 ) draft Murray and THEN trade Rosen.

    Murray may have been #1 on their draft board, but people are turning a blind eye to the fact that Trading the #1 overall was their first choice.


    They waited the full 15 minutes to make the pick didn’t they ??

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