The instant that the Cardinals selected Kyler Murray with the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft, the conversation surrounding Josh Rosen’s future with the franchise went from wondering if he’ll be the team’s starting quarterback next season, to wondering when he’ll get traded and where he’ll go.
The morning after the first round, NFL Network’s Clayton Holloway noted that Rosen had unfollowed the Cardinals on Instagram and Twitter. When former wide receiver, and guy whose current job is to get mad at things modern players do, Steve Smith went on an unhinged rant about the quarterback’s commitment to competition and the team.
There are a few issues with Smith’s diatribe: at no point did Rosen ever articulate he would not be willing to compete with Murray, and at no point did he ever threaten the organization, let alone threaten to “take his ball,” whatever that means in this context. There’s also the issue of what exactly Smith is trying to say with “stigma of [Rosen] and who [Rosen] is,” but there’s no need to dive into that discussion now. Perhaps the biggest issue, however, is that one glance at Arizona’s Instagram probably could have provided a simple explanation for why Rosen would not want to see the team’s social media after drafting Murray.
Rosen is under no obligation to see his potential replacement plastered all over a timeline that is meant to be curated to his tastes. The unfollow button doesn’t imply anything other than “I don’t want to see this content anymore,” which is a pretty valid feeling. Plus, Rosen has earned that benefit of the doubt given what his teammate Larry Fitzgerald had to say about how the quarterback handled this time in his career:
“I applaud his position of how he handles his business,” Fitzgerald said. “He literally, he just, ‘Only thing I can control is me and my effort today and how much I can learn this offense to be the best quarterback I can be for the Arizona Cardinals until something else changes.’ Really, as a 22-year-old kid, I love his demeanor.
But, we won’t get to see how Rosen does with that demeanor truly put to the test because he was sent over to the Dolphins on Friday for a second-round pick (No. 62 overall) this year and a fifth-round pick in 2020. The new Miami quarterback posted a video where he took the time to thank the Arizona fans for their support, congratulate Murray on being the No. 1 pick, compliment his replacement’s talent level, thank the team and express his excitement over becoming a Dolphin. It was the kind of mature response that would shake up your view of Rosen if your only opinion of him was based on what Smith ranted about earlier.
With this undramatic trade saga coming to a close, it looks like Smith will have to find some other millennial in the NFL to get mad at. Hopefully he finds one soon because not having an outlet to vent one’s anger is unhealthy.