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NFL Draft

What Is Dolphins QB Josh Rosen’s Current Trade Value?

  • The Draft Network
  • May 21, 2020
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The career of quarterback Josh Rosen hasn't gotten off to a very admirable start. 

Rosen, the 2018 No. 10 selection, lasted just one season in Arizona before he was shipped east to South Florida for a late 2020 second-round pick. The Dolphins, who were kicking off an aggressive rebuilding campaign, acquired Rosen for cheap with the hope that the young passer would allow them to skip the line and not invest an early draft pick in a quarterback. 

That didn't come to pass.

Miami started Rosen for three games in 2019. His process was scattershot, decision making slow and ability to get the offense into the right protections and plays was inefficient. The Dolphins, despite starting the season winless, at 0-7, pulled the plug on Rosen in October and never looked back. With three damning starts to his name, Rosen found himself, for the second consecutive year, on a team that would draft a quarterback with its first pick.

First, Kyler Murray. Now, Tua Tagovailoa.

What is next for Rosen? With veteran quarterback Cam Newton still a free agent, it is hard to believe that Rosen would be anyone's top choice. There are dynamics at play for Miami’s quarterback room that may make him more valuable there than he would be for any other team. 

The Dolphins' top three passers are Tagovailoa, Rosen and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took the reins from Rosen last season and commandeered a 5-4 finish. But Tagovailoa doesn't come to the league without a fair amount of concerns about his durability, and for as masterful as Fitzpatrick was down the stretch in 2019, he's 38 years old and entering a contract year.

The Dolphins, should they move Rosen hastily, will be back in the quarterback market sooner rather than later for a competent backup to alleviate the concerns of Tagovailoa's durability. Any team who is privy to trading for Rosen should know full well that Miami, one year into an underwhelming investment, isn’t going to just give him away. This is why the Dolphins took their shot on Rosen in the first place: He came at a discount and was, relatively speaking, a low-risk, high reward proposition.

NFL Network's Michael Giardi reported Wednesday that Miami has indeed received calls on Rosen this offseason but is "in no hurry to trade (him)." The simple explanation here is one of two scenarios:

  • The Dolphins haven't gotten an offer they figure is worth their while to recoup their potential losses on the low-risk move.
  • The Dolphins legitimately see some value in having Rosen on the roster as a young backup with a gifted arm and low financial cost.

Rosen enters the 2020 season with two years of control left on his contract plus a club option as a former first-round pick. That option won't get exercised but his cap commitment for 2020 is less than $2.2 million. That cost is less than the Giants' Colt McCoy, nearly half the cost of Texans backup A.J. McCarron and is less than one-third the cost of Raiders second-string passer Marcus Mariota. This is the value Rosen offers the Dolphins: cheap upside and zero pressure.

So, what would Rosen cost to move, knowing that Miami's investment has little urgency to cash out on (and it might even benefit the team to continue to work with a develop him)?

Nick Foles was traded to Chicago for a fourth-round selection. Rosen is far less accomplished but cheap and will forever have the prestige of being a former top-10 selection. Newton on the market provides a better starting option, but no team looking into Rosen will be looking for a starter. They'll be looking to do the same thing Miami tried to do: transition into a new quarterback with a discounted roll of the dice. A fourth-round pick would probably be enough to pull Miami back into the quarterback market again in 2021 to replace a presumedly departed Fitzpatrick and a potentially traded Rosen.

But no logical team is lining up to offer up a fourth-round selection to move for a quarterback who desperately needs stability. The one thing he would be ensured not to get with a deal to his third NFL team in as many seasons. 

Don't expect this move to materialize any time soon, given Rosen's early NFL path and the diminished cost the Dolphins have looming ahead of them to keep him in South Florida for the next two seasons. Rosen is more valuable to Miami as a primary backup than he would be to the rest of the league as a lottery ticket.

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