Having completed the biggest trade of the NFL Draft weekend by acquiring former Cardinals first round pick Josh Rosen Friday night, the Dolphins may have already had an idea of what kind of leadership they were getting with the second-year QB. Well, the last 24 hours have demonstrated that they may be getting an even bigger leader than what they thought.
First, there’s something to be said for Rosen taking the high road during the entire off-season soap opera of whether or not the Cardinals were going to draft Oklahoman Heisman winning quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick.
Not once did Rosen publicly complain that the job that was supposed to be his, was being yanked out from under him after only one season. A season, where Cardinals first-year coach Steve Wilks had fired the offensive coordinator less than halfway into it. Then, Wilks got fired himself and set into motion the hiring of Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury and eventually, the drafting of Murray.
Even even in the previous couple of weeks, where it became increasingly apparent the Kingsbury was in love with Murray and he was going to be the pick, you still never heard Rosen say a disparaging word anywhere, including online, about Arizona or the situation.
And in taking the high road, Rosen was rewarded with a trade to a franchise in South Florida that has been craving somebody to develop into not only the passer but the leader at the offense needs.
And that’s when Rosen gave two more examples of his character and his leadership. First he posted this classy goodbye to the Cardinals organization and fans with predictions of greatness for Murray, too, on Instagram:
That is obviously something he did not have to do, and could have just said nothing when departing.
Still it speaks to maturity and character for the former UCLA star.
Then, on Saturday afternoon Rosen kept his commitment to participate with former teammate and soon-to-be Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s charity softball event.
Fitzgerald, who’s as iconic as any Cardinal and as any athlete in the “Valley of the Sun,” praised Rosen’s handling of the whole situation on the PA microphone to the crowd prior to Rosen taking part in the softball Home Run Derby.
Take a look at the video, as Rosen got a standing ovation before taking some cuts in the batter’s box:
Josh Rosen gets a standing ovation at #FitzSoftball. He homered his second pitch of the derby. I was told he stayed in town specifically for this. In the time it’s taken me to type this, he’s had six more homers pic.twitter.com/Cgt0x5lO4O
— katherine fitzgerald (@kfitz134) April 28, 2019
Rosen very easily could have “bagged” the softball charity event Saturday night and almost everyone, including Fitzgerald, would have understood under the circumstances of what had transpired the last two days and his being traded.
But, there’s a right way and a wrong way to conduct yourself, and Rosen has obviously gotten great upbringing and representation on: whenever you get the chance to lead and do the right thing, you should do it.
That way, others will unquestionably follow you, because they know you’re of high character and your heart and head are always in the right place for them and for the team.
Rosen may or may not excel in Dolphin colors later this season and broader, for his Miami career.
But no one can question, that even while being “hung out to dry” recently, he’s handled himself with class and demonstrated leadership qualities that have to be very encouraging for the Fins organization and should be for the fans as well.
What to watch Thursday Dolphins-Jags third preseason game
Week three of the preseason is already here as the Jags and the Dolphins get set for their in-state clash tonight at Hard Rock Stadium.
Week three is known to be the “most important” preseason game as the starters will usually play a half of football. And, for the Jags, this will be the first time they will play most of the first-team offense, meanwhile, the Fins have another chance for Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick to step up.
Those are just a few of the things we want to watch:
Nick Foles– Of course, Foles is what to watch for tonight. The Jags will be letting the QB out of the cage tonight for the first time. The $88 million-dollar man will look to start his Jaguars career on a positive note. It will be interesting to see how he fares in his first live-action of the season.
Dolphins QBs- Josh Rosen hasn’t done anything to win the job so far in the preseason. He also though has not done anything to lose it either. So, Ryan Fitzpatrick very well could be the starter week 1. While some will argue there is no point in playing the journeyman over the 2nd year guy, Fitpatrick won games last year in Tampa Bay.
The Dolphins though, will play the guy they feel has the best chance to win them games to start this season, and want Rosen to become that guy, eventually. Tonight should show us who that guy will for the Dolphins opener.
Jackonville O-Line and Leonard Fournette– We think this will be the first appearance for the starting running back, as well on the preseason. We know he can be a punishing downhill runner, but new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo wants Fournette more involved in the passing game.
Will they show a little bit of what they have in store for him tonight though is the question? Also, on the O-Line Cam Robinson is back how much will the Jags push him tonight though a few plays, a few series, a quarter or risk his first contact being regular season week one?
Dophins giving up sacks- Last week the Bucs accounted for five sacks (three on Rosen) against the Dolphins in Tampa. This week the Dolphins will face a better unit for a longer time and will need to help keep the QBs on their feet.
Coach Brian Flores even said after the game last week he would like to see Rosen take fewer sacks. If he wants to win the job tonight, he will need help from his O-Line and his own decision making.
Players out- The Jags have announced that nine players won’t be seeing the field tonight among those are WR Marqise Lee and three different tight ends. That means we could see a lot of James O’Shaughnessy at tight end. For the wideouts that means more opportunity for some of the guys like D.J. Chark, Chris Conley and company.
Mistakes- Last week Miami had some drops and a lot of flags thrown on them. Look out for the Dolphins to play a cleaner game tonight. With the starters playing more coach Flores is expecting fewer penalties after getting hit with 13 calls for a loss of 122 yards last week.
Report- Dolphins extending contract of WR Jakeem Grant
The Miami Dolphins have apparently made a move tonight and have locked in return specialist/receiver Jakeem Grant.
NEWS: Source indicates that the Dolphins and Jakeem Grant are close to a 4-year contract extension that keeps him in Miami through 2023. pic.twitter.com/DFhVktm2lD
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 21, 2019
The deal is rumored to be a 4-year extension to lock him down in South Beach through the 2023 season.
With a new coaching staff in place in Miami, they have made locking up the 2016 class a priority.
Grant was set to make just $720,000 in the final year of his rookie deal. Beasley did not have terms on the deal, but it’s safe to assume he will be getting a hefty raise. This deal could show the Fins are ready to give Grant a more prominent role in the offense, as well.
Previously, Miami GM Chris Grier has locked up 2016 draft pick Xavien Howard to 5 year, $73 million extension in May. The Dolphins will also look to extend left tackle Laremy Tunsil, as well, and he will likely command in the neighborhood of $12+ million per season to do so.
Grant has been a mainstay as a special team’s player so far in his career. As a return specialist Grant was an all-pro last season. The 16.3 yards-per-return across 14 punt returns in 2018 is a superb mark, as was his 29.7 yards-per return average on kickoffs.
Grant was a sub 4.4 40-yard dash guy coming out of Texas Tech and has made his limited touches count in the NFL. Grant has 34 catches in three NFL seasons, scoring four touchdowns, and averaging 13.9 yards per reception. He and fellow speedy undersized receiver Albert Wilson made a 1-2 “big play punch” early last season, as Miami jumped out to a 3-0 record.
However, Wilson was lost in October for the season with a hip injury. Then, Grant ended up suffering a torn calf muscle and missing the final six games of last year.
Grant has also been on the sidelines so far this preseason with a nagging hamstring injury.
But, he returned to practice Monday, and the Dolphins apparently believe he is back to full health.