This was originally published in The Athletic.
What you are reading was originally intended to be a column about the Bengals and quarterbacks. Specifically, I was going to lay out the case for at least looking into a trade for Arizona’s Josh Rosen. That’s assuming the Cardinals are so infatuated with the idea of taking Kyler Murray with the top pick in the draft that last year’s 10th overall pick could be had in a trade, for the right price of course.
I’d planned on approaching this from a few different angles, making parallels between what some are saying about Rosen’s lousy rookie season and how many wrote off the Rams’ Jared Goff after just seven starts the season after being the No. 1 overall pick. I would mention that the guy coaching the Bengals might even have had something to do with Goff’s improvement from 2016 bust to 2018 Super Bowl starter.
I was going to outline the ways that having a quarterback playing under a rookie deal has allowed the Rams to by hyper-aggressive in building their roster. I’d gone out of my way to do some cursory research that would allow me to mention how the Rams were able to have 11 players on multi-year contracts worth at least $15 million on last year’s NFC title-winning team, in large part because they’d spent the sixth-least amount of money on their quarterbacks. I’d planned to envision scenarios involving the Bengals taking advantage of the added financial flexibility trading for Rosen and his relatively cheap contract would have allowed. And, of course, I was going to mention Andy Dalton. I was going to include thoughts on the contract he has as well as the one he most assuredly wants. All the while I was going to use the written word to wonder if Rosen could at least be just as good of a player as Dalton, if not better, while working under more years of team control for decidedly less money.
But really, what’s the point? Why discuss bold moves and tantalizing possibilities when the Bengals have opened the meaningful part of the offseason by not only retaining a bad player from one of its poorest-performing units but by giving him a massive raise?
To read the entire piece, go to The Athletic.