Tampa Bay is the perfect place for Rosen to relaunch his NFL career
● With the legendary Brady by his side, the Buccaneers is a great move for quarterback
The NFL season is oh so close and, unlike the other US sports this year, it is now looking as though we could get a full season.
In the early hours of Friday morning the defending champions, Kansas City Chiefs, host the Houston Texans in a rematch of a game from last year’s play-offs, a game in which Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs overcame a 24-point deficit.
Kansas quarter-back Mahomes is obviously the man to watch this season as he looks to not only win the title again, something that was last achieved by the Patriots in 2003 and 2004, but also to reclaim his MVP title from Lamar Jackson.
But while these quarterbacks fight for acclaim, former firstround pick Josh Rosen is fighting for his NFL career.
The Arizona Cardinals drafted Rosen in 2018 with the tenth pick, the same position as Mahomes only a year later, and 22 places before Jackson. But while Mahomes sat for most of his first season but has since claimed a MVP title and a Super Bowl, Rosen struggled in the desert with Arizona.
A year after being drafted in the first round Rosen was shipped off to Miami as the Cardinals new head coach picked Kyler Murray.
Rosen’s time in Miami wasn’t the fresh start he needed and for the second time in two years a team he played for drafted a quarterback with their first pick, again signalling the beginning of the end.
After hanging in as one of three potential starting quarterbacks through preseason late last week, Rosen was released and left without a team. That, of course, is no surprise for a player whose record reads just three wins from 20 games in the NFL.
It reads worse when you look at individual stats, with a completion rate of 54 per cent and just 12 touchdowns against 19 interceptions.
To say this was all Rosen’s fault would be harsh as in both scenarios he inherited poor teams with worse records. But late on Sunday, Rosen was given the best possible chance to play – and win – in the NFL again.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had one of the most exciting offseasons in the history of football. The big news was the addition of six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady. But the rebuild didn’t stop there.
They added Brady’s safety blanket, too, when they persuaded former Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski to come back from retirement. Later in the summer they also signed Leonard Fournette after Jacksonville released the running back.
On the defensive side of the ball, the team had also made moves, adding Ndamukong Suh and drafting Khalil Davis.
The Buccaneers are a team whose goal is clear: its time to win it all. So when they added 23-year-old Rosen as a member of their practice squad on Sunday, it caught people by surprise. The fit is good for both parties, though.
The Bucs know that Brady isn’t the long-term solution at 43 years old, while Blaine Gabbert behind him is a veteran of seven years. Still, while he had some good seasons, he has never been a breakout quarterback, not to mention third string QB Ryan Griffin who has four attempted passes in the NFL.
So there is room for Rosen to make an impact and take another year to study the league. But more important than that there is a chance for Rosen to sit and observe one of the all-time greats.
Sitting in a quarterback room with Brady and watching how a future hall of famer goes about his business every day will be a learning experience like no other.
Not only will Rosen get to learn from Brady and Gabbert but he will not have the pressure he’s had in his previous two seasons. In Tampa, the passer will have a chance to learn the playbook and know, barring the worst of luck, that he won’t be thrown in at the deep end.
Rosen, may have had some bad times in the NFL but with the Buccaneers, he’s been given an opportunity to learn, to develop and even to make himself that thing he was once considered – a franchise quarterback.