Josh Rosen

49ers Aiming To Retain Both Josh Rosen, Nate Sudfeld?

Several days after acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from the Dolphins, the 49ers signed longtime Eagles third-stringer Nate Sudfeld. San Francisco added Sudfeld to a quarterback room that already included Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Rosen, with a rookie passer on the way. The team will likely attempt to retain all four QBs going into Week 1.

Garoppolo and Trey Lance will be the 49ers’ first- and second-string QBs, with the order depending on how quickly the Division I-FCS product progresses, while Rosen and Sudfeld vie for the third-string position. But the 49ers should be expected, per The Athletic’s David Lombardi, to keep all four quarterbacks this season (subscription required). That should be the aim, at least.

The loser of the Rosen-Sudfeld competition should be expected to land on San Francisco’s practice squad, Lombardi adds, rather than the team jettisoning this lower-profile battle’s runner-up for good. This would require no team claiming the QB3 competition’s loser on waivers, however. Both have practice squad experience, with Sudfeld beginning his Eagles tenure on their taxi squad and Rosen plummeting to that level — with thet Buccaneers — after active-roster stints with the Cardinals and Dolphins.

Both players are set to make less than $1MM this season, with Rosen tied to a non-guaranteed $850K salary and Sudfeld set to make $990K. The 49ers guaranteed Sudfeld $252K. Neither player is signed beyond 2021. While Sudfeld resurfaced as a controversial contributor in Philadelphia’s Week 17 game last season, Rosen has not taken a snap since Week 9 of the 2019 season. The 49ers signed the ex-UCLA top prospect off the Bucs’ practice squad late last year.

With Garoppolo likely set to depart San Francisco after the 2021 season, this year’s Rosen-Sudfeld competition could determine the team’s 2022 Lance backup. The 49ers let former third-round pick C.J. Beathard walk in free agency and non-tendered RFA Nick Mullens. Garoppolo’s previous backups are now in Jacksonville and Philly, respectively.

Rosen spending the 2021 season under Kyle Shanahan would be interesting, given the low-quality situations the former No. 10 overall pick enjoyed in Arizona and Miami. Still just 24, Rosen profiles as an interesting developmental player — despite shaky in-game work to date. Sudfeld, 27, has a lower ceiling at this point, though he did serve as Nick Foles‘ backup during the 2017 and ’18 playoffs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Cardinals Sign Josh Rosen

On this date in 2018, the Cardinals inked their quarterback of the future. At least, they thought that’s what they were getting when they signed No. 10 overall pick Josh Rosen

The Cardinals’ quarterback search was an open secret, one that dragged for years. In 2017, they tried and failed to trade up for Patrick Mahomes – they settled for Haason Reddick at No. 13 instead. This time around, they didn’t want to walk out of the 2018 draft with “what-ifs,” so they vaulted up from No. 15 to No. 10 for Rosen, a promising young passer out of UCLA.

Most evaluators viewed Rosen as the most polished and most NFL-ready passer in the entire class. There was a lot to like, especially after the Hebrew Hammer threw for 59 touchdowns over the course of three college seasons. He also saved his best for last. As a junior, Rosen turned in the best TD/INT ratio of his career (26/10) and his best completion rate (62.5%).

Rosen’s talent was apparent – he didn’t have a cannon for an arm, but his technique and footwork were virtually flawless. He was also an all around bright kid, though some evaluators wondered if he was too brainy for his own good. Curiously, his own head coach was among the nay-sayers.

Because of fit, I would take Sam Darnold if I were the Cleveland Browns,” said Jim Mora. “I think that blue collar, gritty attitude, I think his teammates will love him, I think the city will love him. He’ll say the right things. He will come in and he will represent well. I think he kind of represents what Cleveland is. And if I was one of the New York teams, I would take Josh *snap* just like that. I think they will both be great in the pros.”

Later on, Mora backtracked, but only slightly. Ultimately, the Browns chose the brash confidence of Baker Mayfield over the “gritty attitude” of Sam Darnold. Today, the Browns are pretty happy with their decision.

Rosen went 3-10 as the Cardinals’ starter as a rookie, completing just 55.2% of his throws with 11 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. A deeper look at Rosen’s rookie stats and metrics don’t do him any favors, either. Rosen completed 55% of his throws and averaged just 5.8 yards per attempt. He also finished with a league-worst 26.1 Total QBR and Football Outsiders listed him as the league’s worst full-time quarterback.

Midway through the year, offensive coordinator Mike McCoy got the heave-ho. After the season, head coach Steve Wilks was sent packing. Ditto for Rosen – just one year after the Cardinals selected him, they drafted his replacement in Kyler Murray. Rosen hoped for a fresh start after he was traded to the Dolphins, but he floundered in his three starts.

In 2020, Rosen had a cup of coffee with the Bucs’ practice squad before being claimed by the Niners. Now, after being retained as an ERFA, Rosen is set to battle for his place on SF’s Week 1 roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 3 to officially pick up their options on 2018 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. In a change from years past, fifth-year option seasons are fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement, and specific performance metrics:

  • 2-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • 1-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

Updated 4-30-21, 4:24pm CT

  1. QB Baker Mayfield, Browns: Exercised ($18.858MM)
  2. RB Saquon Barkley, Giants: Exercised ($7.217MM)
  3. QB Sam Darnold, Panthers (via Jets): Pending ($18.858MM)
  4. CB Denzel Ward, Browns — Exercised ($13.294MM)
  5. LB Bradley Chubb, Broncos — Pending ($12.716MM)
  6. G Quenton Nelson, Colts — Pending ($13.754MM)
  7. QB Josh Allen, Bills: Pending ($23.106MM)
  8. LB Roquan Smith, Bears: Exercised ($9.735MM)
  9. OT Mike McGlinchey, 49ers: Exercised ($10.88MM)
  10. QB Josh Rosen, Cardinals: N/A
  11. S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (via Dolphins): Exercised ($10.612MM)
  12. DT Vita Vea, Buccaneers: Exercised ($7.638MM)
  13. DT Daron Payne, Washington — Exercised ($8.529MM)
  14. DE Marcus Davenport, Saints: Exercised ($9.553MM)
  15. OT Kolton Miller, Raiders — N/A (extension)
  16. LB Tremaine Edmunds, Bills: Pending ($12.716MM)
  17. S Derwin James, Chargers: Exercised ($9.052MM)
  18. CB Jaire Alexander, Packers: Exercised ($13.294MM)
  19. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys: Pending ($9.145MM)
  20. C Frank Ragnow, Lions: Exercised ($12.657MM)
  21. C Billy Price, Bengals: Declined ($10.413MM)
  22. LB Rashaan Evans, Titans: Pending ($9.735MM)
  23. OT Isaiah Wynn, Patriots: Pending ($10.413 MM)
  24. WR D.J. Moore, Panthers: Exercised ($11.116MM)
  25. TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons (via Ravens): Pending ($5.428MM)
  26. WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons: Pending ($11.116MM)
  27. RB Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: Pending ($4.523MM)
  28. S Terrell Edmunds, Steelers: Pending ($6.753MM)
  29. DT Taven Bryan, Jaguars: Pending ($7.638MM)
  30. CB Mike Hughes, Vikings: Pending ($12.643MM)
  31. RB Sony Michel, Patriots: Pending ($4.523MM)
  32. QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens: Exercised ($23.106MM)

NFL’s Fifth-Year Option Salaries For 2021

The NFL’s 2021 salary cap has been set at $182.5MM, marking the league’s first reduction in a decade. With that, the league has also ironed out the value of this year’s fifth-round option for 2018 first-round picks.

Here’s the full rundown, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter):

1. Baker Mayfield, Browns, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

2. Saquon Barkley, Giants, RB — $7.217MM (1x Pro Bowl)

3. Sam Darnold, Jets, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

4. Denzel Ward, Browns, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

5. Bradley Chubb, Broncos, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

6. Quenton Nelson, Colts, G — $13.754MM (2x Pro Bowl)

7. Josh Allen, Bills, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

8. Roquan Smith, Bears, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

9. Mike McGlinchey, 49ers, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

10. Josh Rosen, Cardinals, QB*

11. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers, S (drafted by Dolphins) — $10.612MM (2x Pro Bowl)

12. Vita Vea, Buccaneers, DT — $7.638MM

13. Daron Payne, Washington, DT — $8.529MM (playing time)

14. Marcus Davenport, Saints, DE — $9.553MM

15. Kolton Miller, Raiders, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

16. Tremaine Edmunds, Bills, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

17. Derwin James, Chargers, S — $9.052MM (1x Pro Bowl)

18. Jaire Alexander, Packers, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

19. Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys, LB — $9.145MM

20. Frank Ragnow, Lions, C — $12.657MM (1x Pro Bowl)

21. Billy Price, Bengals, C — $10.413MM

22. Rashaan Evans, Titans, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

23. Isaiah Wynn, Patriots, OT — $10.413MM

24. D.J. Moore, Panthers, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

25. Hayden Hurst, Falcons, TE (Drafted by Ravens) — $5.428MM

26. Calvin Ridley, Falcons, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks, RB — $4.523MM

28., Steelers, S Terrell Edmunds — $6.753MM (playing time)

29. Taven Bryan, Jaguars, DT — $7.638MM

30. Mike Hughes, Vikings, CB — $12.643MM

31. Sony Michel, Patriots, RB — $4.523MM

32. Lamar Jackson, Ravens, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

* Rosen was released from his original contract and, therefore, is not option-eligible 

As a refresher, the fifth-year option year is now fully guaranteed. In the past, it was guaranteed for injury only. The values are also dependent on certain performance metrics:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

49ers To Bring Back Josh Rosen

The 49ers are set to bring back Josh Rosen (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). It won’t cost them much to retain the former first-round pick, who is tethered to the team as an exclusive rights free agent.

Rosen was cut by the Dolphins in early September and spent the bulk of the year on the Bucs’ practice squad. He has yet to impress as an NFL quarterback, though he has not been given the best of opportunities. The 2018 No. 10 overall pick struggled for the Cardinals — who ranked last in scoring and total offense in 2018 — and the Dolphins, who had perhaps the league’s worst roster in 2019. Rosen took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 2 and started the next three games that year, but Brian Flores didn’t really look back after giving him the hook.

The fourth quarterback selected in 2018’s five-QB first round, Rosen owns a career 54.8% completion rate and a ghastly 4.4 adjusted yards per attempt figure. He has thrown 12 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions in 20 career games (16 starts).

Still, there’s no sense in the 49ers giving up on the one-time Bruins star. Rosen won’t turn 24 until February, and the 49ers have him on the cheap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Sign Josh Rosen Off Bucs’ P-Squad

Josh Rosen will return to the NFC West. In need of quarterback help, the 49ers are signing the former Cardinals first-round pick off the Buccaneers’ practice squad, Field Yates and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com report (via Twitter).

This will mean a return to a 53-man roster for Rosen, who has resided on Tampa Bay’s taxi squad throughout his third NFL season. The 2018 No. 10 overall pick will be in line to back up C.J. Beathard, who will replace an injured Nick Mullens in San Francisco’s starting lineup.

Rosen was interested in joining the 49ers earlier this year, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter), but instead went to Tampa. At the time, the 49ers were fully staffed at quarterback. But injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Mullens created a need in San Francisco, and the former UCLA passer will return to California.

Beathard is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, and Mullens is due for restricted free agency. The latter is facing Tommy John surgery after encountering elbow ligament damage Sunday. No longer attached to his rookie contract, Rosen is signed only through the end of this season. Though, he does not have enough service time to qualify for unrestricted free agency come March. The 49ers could get an extended look at Rosen if they tender him a 2021 contract in March.

Rosen’s NFL career veered well off track early. Landing with a Cardinals team that used two offensive coordinators and numerous offensive linemen in 2018, Rosen became the rare first-round quarterback replaced by another first-round passer the following year. Only the Cardinals and Baltimore Colts of the early 1980s have drafted QBs in consecutive first rounds over the past 40 years, and the Cards shipped Rosen to the Dolphins for a second-round pick after selecting Kyler Murray. Rosen, however, failed to earn much playing time over Ryan Fitzpatrick in Miami. The Dolphins cut Rosen this summer; he has not played in 2020.

For his career, Rosen has a 54.8% completion rate and a 12-19 TD-INT ratio. He has averaged just 5.7 yards per attempt in 20 career games. But the ex-Bruins standout was viewed as a first-round passer ahead of his sophomore season. He ended up being the fourth quarterback chosen in 2018 but has been by far the worst of the five first-round QBs taken in 2018. Although, it can be argued the 23-year-old passer has run into circumstances that made success exceedingly difficult to attain thus far in his career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs Sign Josh Rosen To Practice Squad

Josh Rosen has found a new home. The highly drafted quarterback will be signing with the Buccaneers’ practice squad, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Rosen will now get to learn from Tom Brady in the quarterbacks room. The UCLA product has had a tough time in the pros, and was just recently cut by the Dolphins after Miami failed to find a trade partner. Heavily hyped coming out of college, Rosen was drafted 10th overall by the Cardinals in 2018. His rookie season was a disaster, as Arizona went 3-13 and head coach Steve Wilks was fired after just one year.

The Cards elected to start fresh the following offseason, drafting Kyler Murray with the first pick and making Rosen expendable. He was quickly dealt to the Dolphins in exchange for a second-round pick. He started three games in Miami but didn’t play well and failed to beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick for playing time.

Obviously Rosen’s circumstances have been far from ideal, and he’s had to deal with things that are extremely rare for such a highly drafted quarterback. Now he’ll be not just learning from Brady, but reuniting with Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich as well. Leftwich was quarterbacks coach and interim offensive coordinator during Rosen’s season in Arizona, when he started 13 games.

This seems like an ideal situation for Rosen to land, and a chance to jumpstart his career. For the Bucs it’s a nice low-risk signing, as they don’t currently have anyone waiting in the wings for whenever the 43-year-old Brady decides to hang up his cleats. Through 16 career NFL starts Rosen has averaged 5.7 yards per attempt with 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

Here is the Buccaneers full practice squad:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Waive QB Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen will be a one-and-done with a second NFL team. The Dolphins will release the third-year quarterback, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Miami, which acquired Rosen in a 2019 trade from Arizona, attempted to ship the former top-10 pick out in another trade. But after no such deal emerged, the Dolphins will send the ex-UCLA star to the waiver wire.

Rosen has not impressed as an NFL quarterback, although he has certainly not been presented with great developmental environments. The 2018 No. 10 overall pick struggled for both the Cardinals — who ranked last in scoring and total offense in 2018 — and the Dolphins, who had perhaps the league’s worst roster last year. Rosen took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 2 and started the next three games. But Brian Flores benched him and stuck with Fitzpatrick the rest of the way.

The fourth quarterback selected in 2018’s five-QB first round, Rosen owns a career 54.8% completion rate and a ghastly 4.4 adjusted yards per attempt figure. He has thrown 12 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions in 20 career games (16 starts).

The Dolphins reunited Fitzpatrick with OC Chan Gailey this offseason and drafted Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall, executing the latter move after eyeing the Alabama standout for over a year. For the time being, the Dolphins will go with Fitz — who will turn 38 by season’s end — and Tagovailoa, who is 10 months out from a severe hip injury. The Dolphins have brought in former backup Jake Rudock multiple times in recent weeks but have not signed him.

Two years and a mostly guaranteed $3.63MM remain on Rosen’s rookie deal. The Dolphins already paid Rosen a $1.4MM bonus earlier in camp, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins QB Josh Rosen Drawing Trade Interest

Could Josh Rosen be on the move again? For the second time this offseason, a report has surfaced indicating that the Dolphins are receiving calls from clubs with interest in dealing for the 23-year-old signal-caller, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com noting this morning that Miami has fielded trade inquiries in recent days (Twitter link).

Back in May, Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk published a similar report, but that was before the Dolphins had gotten a chance to see No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa in action. Tagovailoa looks healthy and appears primed to take over for Ryan Fitzpatrick at some point this season, so Rosen could be on his way out.

Of course, having three QBs that are familiar with their club’s offense could be invaluable in this COVID-impacted season, so the Dolphins will have to weigh that reality against whatever trade offers come their way. Miami gave up a second-rounder to acquire Rosen last offseason, but it’s unlikely the team would be able to recoup that value in another trade. The UCLA product has gone 3-13 as a starter, completing 54.8% of his passes for 2,845 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions.

On the other hand, he has been unfortunate to begin his pro career with the 2018 Cardinals and 2019 Dolphins, outfits that boasted minimal talent on the offensive side of the ball. So there is still hope that Rosen, whom Arizona selected with the No. 10 overall pick of the 2018 draft, could live up to his pedigree.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Rosen, Patriots

The Dolphins might be receiving some interest in Josh Rosen, but they’re probably not in a rush to trade him, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. Rosen is slated to count for just $2.17MM against the cap and GM Chris Grier would be admitting defeat by trading the former first-round pick for substantially less than he gave up for him. In 2019, the Dolphins shipped a second-round pick plus a fifth-round choice to the Cardinals for Rosen. Right now, there’s no way they’d get anything close to a Round 2 selection in return.

Instead, Salguero expects the Dolphins to wait things out and see if his value improves with time. A QB injury elsewhere coupled with a solid preseason from the former No. 10 overall pick could get the job done. In the meantime, the Dolphins will focus on Tua Tagovailoa – their latest quarterback of the future – and proven veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • In his final season under contract with the DolphinsRaekwon McMillan is expected to be used mostly on run downs, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. That’s not an ideal platform for the linebacker, who has had limited opportunities to show his stuff. As a second-round pick in 2017, McMillan was set to start before a preseason ACL injury robbed him of his first pro season. In 2018, he started in every game and saw 831 snaps, but in 2019 he saw just 515 snaps and missed a chunk of the year. Jerome Baker and Kyle Van Noy are likely to be the Dolphins’ two leading LBs, ahead of McMillan.
  • The Patriots‘ offensive line seems more or less set, but Jeff Howe of The Athletic wonders if Marcus Cannon‘s recent change in representation is a sign that the club has approached him about reworking his contract. The right tackle took a step back in 2019 and he’s set to count for $9.6MM in 2020. If the Patriots want Cannon to take a pay cut that isn’t suitable for the veteran, a summer shakeup could be on the way.
  • New Jets quarterback Joe Flacco has been cleared to throw, but he won’t be ready for Week 1 against the Bills.