Should the Detroit Lions trade for Josh Rosen to help push Matthew Stafford?
The Lions quarterback has seen offensive coordinators come and go. He had the luxury of targeting one of the best wide receivers regularly yet has nothing to show for it. Sure, he has a 5000 yard 40 plus touchdown season, but that doesn’t mean anything when you are not successful in the playoffs. It’s time for the Detroit Lions to consider bringing in a QB to push Matt Stafford rather than looking to move on from him.
I hate to say it but regardless of what the Lions decide to do with Stafford in the future, don’t expect a replacement to be as talented. Peyton Manning or Tom Brady are not walking through that door. Stafford hasn’t had anyone rostered to push him; I’d make the argument the best back-up they’ve had was Shaun Hill. Not because he was going to save the franchise with his on-field talent, but he provided a veteran presence in the film room. He also happened to be Stafford’s back-up during the 2011 season when he had the best season of his career statistically. Although I believe Hill served a purpose he along with Drew Stanton, Jake Rudock and Dan Orlovsky don’t push Stafford on the field. Connor Cook is ok but I believe Rosen will be a much more reliable option down the road.
Josh Rosen seems all but done in Arizona after being selected 10th overall last season by the Cards. Often considered the best pocket passer in the draft Rosen often was beat and battered working behind an atrocious O-line. He didn’t have enough time to wait for his downfield routes to develop, so he was often looking towards the future Hall Of Famer Larry Fitzgerald with an emergency toss to bail him out on a short crossing route before he found himself buried in the turf.
David Johnson returned after missing all of last season and struggled to get any type of consistent run production behind that Arizona joke of an NFL line but he is a premier pass-catching back, and similar to Fitzgerald was able to help his young rookie QB out by catching 50 balls throughout the season on quick throws, screens, and dump-offs. David Johnson was ranked as a top-five NFL back going into last season and only got loose for 940 yards on the ground during 16 starts.
The marriage between Rosen and the Cards is not broken yet but it’s cracked, and the crack is starting to spread throughout the rest of the window. There is a lot of speculation that the Cards are going to select Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The rumors seemingly won’t sit well with their young QB, and he’s expected to be on the trade table, this is someone the Lions should consider.
He wouldn’t unseat Matt Stafford this season, but he would absolutely push him to be better right away. Although he wouldn’t help Stafford in the film room as Hill once did and how a player like Josh McCown would right now if the Detroit Lions would just entertain bringing in a veteran who could serve more as a coach rather than a back-up but Rosen could be a long-term solution for the Lions in the coming years. The Detroit Lions won’t trade Stafford this season because they would have to eat double his cap hit even if he’s traded but next off-season he would become much more tradeable, and Rosen would have a year sitting behind Stafford learning the system and having a season of starting experience.
The Arizona Cardinals are expecting to receive a second round pick for Rosen, but I’m not confident that they will get it. There may be a team desperate, but the Lions should phone and offer a third-round pick (88th overall) which is almost like a late second round picks and see if the Cards bite. An important note, before being drafted Josh Rosen mentioned he wouldn’t mind sitting a year or two and learning similar to Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. To me, that speaks volumes to his willingness to learn and grow as a quarterback.