- The Washington Times - Monday, March 4, 2019

Are the Washington Redskins interested in trading for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen?

That’s been the hot rumor coming out of the NFL scouting combine. Despite drafting Rosen with the 10th overall pick last year, the Cardinals appear very interested in taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick.

Rosen would be an intriguing option for the Redskins because’s he’s young (22) and under a rookie contract. The Redskins, of course, need to add a quarterback with Alex Smith out with a leg injury.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Washington is doing its due diligence on Rosen and other possible options at quarterback.

Rosen had an inconsistent rookie season, but part of that can be blamed on the Cardinals’ supporting cast. He completed only 55 percent of his passes, throwing 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. But Rosen was sacked 45 times in 14 games.

The Cardinals fired coach Steve Wilks after just one season and hired Kliff Kingsbury to re-invent their offense. At the combine in Indianapolis, Arizona general manager Steve Keim failed to strongly back Rosen as their quarterback of the future — noting he was the quarterback “right now.”

If the Cardinals were to trade Rosen, it is not known what they could get for compensation. The Redskins have the 15th overall pick in April’s draft, but two sources told NBC Sports’ Peter King that Rosen’s value is just a third-round pick.

The Redskins have two third-round picks in this year’s draft and nine total. The team sounded open to drafting a quarterback when senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams and team president Bruce Allen spoke to the media last week.

Washington continues to support veteran Colt McCoy as next season’s possible starter, but coach Jay Gruden acknowledged the team wants to bring in someone to compete with him.

If the Redskins don’t trade for Rosen, there are other options available. Washington only has $18.7 million in cap space, according to Over The Cap, but mid-tier veterans like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Teddy Bridgewater could fit the team’s price range.

A report from the Miami Herald indicated the Miami Dolphins reached out to Washington about starter Ryan Tannehill, though Tannehill’s 2019 cap hit — $18.7 million — makes a trade highly unlikely. Miami is expected to cut Tannehill if it can’t find a deal for him.

Murray, this year’s top prospect, will almost certainly be gone by the time the Redskins pick in the draft — and there’s an increasing feeling around the league that the Heisman Trophy-winner could go first overall. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is also expected to be off the board, likely leaving the Redskins with their choice of Missouri’s Drew Lock or Duke’s Daniel Jones as the next best available quarterback prospect.

Still, Lock and Jones aren’t considered as highly as Rosen was coming out of the draft last year. Williams said this year’s quarterback class, in general, doesn’t stand out like it did in 2018.

“I don’t think there’s no really clear-cut guys,” Williams said. “Last year coming up, it was no doubt the kid the Jets have now (Sam Darnold) stood out like a sore thumb. I don’t know whether the class is as good as the class last year, but that’s to be seen in the next 2-3 years. … There’s a lot of guys in this class who are capable of playing in the National Football League that are very close.”

That makes Rosen an appealing option for the Redskins. There are still three more years on his contract — four if his fifth-year option is picked up. His relatively cheap contract — Rosen’s salary is just $1.3 million next season — could help make Alex Smith’s incoming four-year, $94 million extension more palatable.

But for any of this to happen, Washington needs to determine if Arizona is serious about trading Rosen — or if this is all a smokescreen in order to drive up the value of their No. 1 pick and have some other team fork over a ransom to acquire the chance to draft Murray.

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