Polarizing First-Round QB Talent Would Cost Jets Next to Nothing

Josh Rosen

Getty Former 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen is now a free agent (photo from August 14, 2021).

Head coach Robert Saleh may not be willing to admit it, but I’m ready to move on from James Morgan.

The New York Jets’ third-string quarterback and 2020 fourth-rounder has routinely been bested by 2018 fifth-round pick Mike White in training camp, and that’s not saying much. When general manager Joe Douglas went out and signed the ageless Josh Johnson, it was a sign that the front office was not satisfied by the two backups.

Saleh and Mike LaFleur are player’s coaches that believe it is their duty to develop any and all guys that are willing to give them 100% effort. I don’t expect them to give up on Morgan or White. Douglas is another story, his job is to make tough decisions.

Cutting a 2020 draft bust may end up being one of those decisions, and whether that happens today or on August 31 probably won’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

It’s time to pull the plug on this experiment, especially when you consider that a former first-round pick is just sitting there on the open market.

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Am I Actually Suggesting This?

A part of me honestly cannot believe I’m writing this article of my own free will. During the 2018 draft process, Josh Rosen was the quarterback that I wasn’t willing to touch with a 10-foot pole.

That was when the price tag cost a first-round pick, however, and times have changed.

The former UCLA product was released by the San Francisco 49ers on August 17. It was the fourth NFL team that has moved on from Rosen since the Arizona Cardinals selected him at number 10 overall a little over three years ago.

Over his brief NFL career, the signal-caller has gone 3-13-0 with the Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. He also holds a 54.8 completion percentage and a 12-to-19 touchdown-to-interception ratio with 11 fumbles.

I’m pointing all this out because this is not intended to be some puff piece that convinces you that Rosen is actually a gem. He’s a former top prospect that became a total bust of epic proportions.

Very few franchises have a quarterback situation so underwhelming where taking a chance on Rosen makes sense, hence why he went unclaimed on waivers this week. Having said that, the Jets are one of the rare organizations that actually do (not including Zach Wilson).

Like I said in the introduction, I’m ready to declare Morgan a bust. So why swap one bust for another? The answer is simple. One was a first-round talent, the other was a fourth-rounder out of Florida International University.

Being that you already know nobody is willing to spend a waiver on Rosen, you can simply stash him on the abnormally large 16-man practice squad that teams will have again in 2021 once training camp is over.

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Niners’ Ties Provides Scheme Familiarity

Coach Saleh has said many times that the Jets won’t just bring in a veteran quarterback for the sake of it. He noted that there has to be a scheme fit that makes sense.

That was the case with Johnson, who had spent time with the 49ers coaching staff in 2020. That is also the case with Rosen.

The UCLA graduate has been learning Kyle Shanahan’s system since December of 2020. LaFleur has basically been with Shanahan since he started coaching. He was his understudy for many years and you won’t find an offense that’s more similar for Rosen.

The adjustment should be feasible. At the very least, it’s worth a dirt-cheap offer and Morgan’s roster spot — or one of the two spots vacated by season-ending injuries to Carl Lawson and Zane Lewis, although having five quarterbacks at this stage seems excessive.

Rosen was known for his footwork, poise, accuracy and intelligence as a pocket-passer prospect back in 2018. He was also known for his brash confidence. Things have not gone well for him, but he’s only 24-years old and hopefully, he’s been humbled by his NFL experience.

Plus, how ironic would it be if the Jets drafted Sam Darnold when they probably should have taken Josh Allen, only to end up with Rosen? That would make for a helluva full-circle story.

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