We’ve learned in the last 24 hours that the Miami Dolphins are making inquiries about quarterback Josh Rosen. Despite Rosen’s underwhelming performance at the start of his career, it’s still a small surprise, especially given that Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t taken an official snapshot for the team yet – one would think that cheap insurance would be a quality that Miami seems to crave at quarterback, especially given what the team has traded for him in the first place. There is little chance that the Dolphins would get anywhere near as much back as they gave up on Rosen – remember that they gave the Cardinals a tip for the second round in 2019 (62 overall) and a fifth-round pick to complete that deal. Miami would end up winning back the fifth-round pick anyway, but the price of a second-round pick would be.
If the Dolphins can’t sniff that for compensation now, the question is: What can the Dolphins get for a quarterback who has struggled for three games in his only season in South Florida?
This is a complicated question that is difficult to answer with little urgency and desperation from other teams in the league. A source of inspiration for a potential rose trade? The deal the Dolphins have just struck with the Las Vegas Raiders to replace linebacker Raekwon McMillan. The Dolphins agreed to trade McMillan to Las Vegas by equipping the fourth-year linebacker with a selection from the fifth round in 2021 and returning a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins in 2021. Assuming both teams finish in the middle of the field in 2020, McMillan would be about as valuable to the Dolphins as a draft pick from the fifth round.
The Dolphins might get the best return for Rosen if they did something similar – though the expected return is likely to make Rosen seem a little more expensive than what the team has gained for McMillan.
The Dolphins currently have two fourth-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft: their own and that of the Las Vegas Raiders, thanks to last weekend’s McMillan deal. What if the Dolphins combined one of those picks with Rosen and returned a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft? That arrangement would give Miami two picks in each of the first three rounds of the draft in April next year, and it would also help mitigate the blow for any team that trades with roses and doesn’t feel comfortable giving up a high-priced asset.
If the Dolphins’ deal were to come back hypothetically as the 85th pick in the 2021 NFL draft, when everything was said and done, that choice would be rated 165 total points according to the Jimmy Johnson trade chart. Assuming that The Miami selection sent to a Roses-trading team totaled 105 points (either via Miami or Las Vegas), the value of Rosen in such a deal would equal the value of the 104th selection in the 2021 NFL draft – an early fourth-round figure for Rosen as an asset in the business.
Considering that Miami gave up a late second-round pick for Rosen in 2019, it wouldn’t be so bad to return to the early 4th after a year of below-average play. And with Miami sending a draft pick back with Rosen, that arrangement might actually be put into practice if a team actually intends to target Rosen this weekend.