The Arizona Non-Problem

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Recently, an article came across my computer written by Bucky Brooks. It’s a lengthy read, but as you can see, the headline is about how he believes that Josh Rosen should be traded, and the Cardinals draft Kyler Murray 1st overall. Keep in mind that this is Bucky’s opinion on the matter, this is not necessarily a prediction of the future, though I’m sure he also believes that to be the case as well. Bucky truly believes that the Arizona Cardinals should trade away Josh Rosen and draft Kyler Murray 1st overall. I will lay out as many arguments as I can to prove why this is an absurd idea, and that if the Cardinals go through with it, why they will have played themselves.

Kliff’s comments on Kyler are crap.

I am aware of the comments Kliff Kingsbury made in October of 2018 before his Texas Tech team played Kyler Murray’s Oklahoma. I am aware of the fact that some people will take anything a coach says in public and spin it to give it any sort of meaning at any given time, without any sort of context. However, I do believe that all coaches like to pump up the competition and be respectful to them through the media, which isn’t to say that Kingsbury doesn’t think Murray is a good or great player, but to take him 1st overall?

Does he truly believe that? Does one off-handed comment wherein he conjures himself as a hypothetical GM of an equally hypothetical NFL team deserve to be treated as the holy word? No, it doesn’t. Especially since Kingsbury has gone on record multiple times to say that Josh Rosen is the Cardinals’ starting QB, and they aren’t interested in drafting one early. And speaking of being able to draft early…

Kliff Kingsbury is not the General Manager, and not in charge of football ops.

Contrary to popular belief, not every football team is run the same way. The Patriots and the Chiefs have their respective head coaches in charge of all football operations, including what the final roster looks like, and heavy input on draft matters. Other teams, such as the Arizona Cardinals, have a football head coach, who helps advise and create ideas for what he wants his roster to look like, and a General Manager who makes decision on free agency and drafting based on those things, and many other factors. Steve Keim is currently Arizona’s GM, and he was the one who traded up 5 spots from 15 to 10 to draft Josh Rosen. To suggest that the GM will simply trade this player, when his job is certainly on the line, just to appease a new Head Coach who may or may not be asking for Kyler Murray when they already have Josh Rosen, is a ridiculous notion, period.

Money

Bucky’s original article makes a small comment about the money aspect of this decision, I’m here to open it up a little further. The NFL is a business, and as such, there are business decisions that are made when it comes to roster construction and player selection in the draft. For example, the Arizona Cardinals have Josh Rosen in the 2nd year of his rookie contract, which has a 5th year option after the initial 4 years expire.

If the Cardinals were to trade Josh Rosen to another team, they will have incurred $8,158,779 in dead cap money, with negative savings over $4 million according to overthecap.com. This would be a horrendous decision in terms of cap management, and that’s before you get to part two, which is drafting a QB first overall and giving that QB a new, almost fully guaranteed rookie deal. This means the Cardinals will have spent two first round picks in two years to pay two QBs, yet only one of them will actually play for that team. And even worse, it’ll be the slightly more expensive, and less talented one. And while we are on the topic of talent…

Kyler Murray does not have the talent or skill to be drafted 1st overall

I respect Kliff Kingsbury as an offensive mind, I love his creativity, how he schemes players to be in the best position they can be, his commitment to an aerial attack, and his generally calm demeanor. However, I think his comments on Kyler Murray while he was at Texas Tech were not exactly accurate. I have written my scouting report on Kyler Murray. In short, I like him, and I think he’ll be an exciting player to watch. But first overall? Miss me hard with that take. None of the QBs in this class should be taken particularly high in the first round, but the NFL will always take them early because of their positional value, not saying that’s right or wrong, those are the facts. Murray simply isn’t the player that Rosen is; Rosen is more accurate, more intelligent, and is just an all around better QB than Kyler Murray is. I hope Murray finds success in the NFL, and I am almost certain that he will. But I cannot see how Rosen isn’t the better player when comparing the two.

The Cardinals have needs… QB isn’t one of them.

If you didn’t watch the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, I wouldn’t blame you. They were a bad team, with bad coaches, and bad players. Josh Rosen struggled mightily during his rookie season, but that’s at least partially from having an offensive coordinator stuck in an irrelevant era of football that he’s not capable of coaching effectively. We’ve seen rookie QBs shine, such as Luck, Baker, and Cam. We’ve also seen good QBs struggle as rookies, or not even see the field, such as Stafford, Goff, and Mahomes. Rosen had his struggles, but to move on from him after a bad rookie year, surrounded by an incompetent coaching staff, a turnstile, and injured offensive line, and bad receivers, is just bad management.

The point of this article is not to call out Bucky Brooks, as he is not the person who originally floated the idea of trading Rosen and drafting Murray. Whoever did come up with it is not important, because what is important is recognizing that it’s a bad idea, no matter how you look at it. The Cardinals and Kliff Kingsbury might get the QB he really wants and thinks the world of, but at what cost? You would be paying money to have Rosen play for another team, while you commit the first overall pick to a QB who wasn’t sure if he wanted to play football less than a month ago. This whole scenario makes about as much sense as when some Star Wars fans thought that Supreme Leader Snoke might be Mace Windu.

I hope and pray that this is the last time I’ll have to discuss this particular idea, but something tells me it won’t be, and it’s going to be a long couple of months until the NFL draft finally, mercifully, begins.

 

Mandatory credit for images used: USA Today,

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