UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is likely to be a top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. His potential is sky-high and many believe he can step right in and produce from Day 1. But there are questions — and it wouldn’t be Anonymous Source Season if they weren’t out there floating the biggest of bombshells without putting their name to it.
A new report suggests — and get this — Rosen has a masterplan to use football as a means to make money!
The Sporting News has the alarming details:
It’s not about what Rosen has said about college athletes deserving to be paid, players sitting out bowl games or his statements about preferring to play for a top franchise; it’s the fact he’s always the person questioning the system. There’s a reason most quarterbacks speak in cheesy cliches and never let on too much. It’s a quarterback’s job to be as non-divisive and football-focused as possible.
According to sources who have spoken with people close to Rosen, he has been focused since high school on using football to make money and support the type of lifestyle he wants. He’s OK with challenging the system and being a mouthpiece for divisiveness because he appreciates the attention it draws.
His talent might overrule his non-football concerns, and he’ll likely still be highly valued, but NFL teams will certainly care about this. They don’t want another Robert Griffin III-type personality. Two teams to watch in a possible Rosen trade-up are the Bills and Chargers.
It should be noted here that Rosen comes from a well-to-do family. He is the product of high-achieving parents. His father was almost surgeon general under Barack Obama. His mother edited magazines. He’s also part of the Wharton lineage of education fame.
These concerns about Rosen are nothing new. Back in May, anonymous league scouts used phrases like “a mess off the field” and “tons of issues.”
In a 2016 Sports Illustrated feature, Rosen’s worst-case scenario was another Heisman-winning NFL bust not named Robert Griffin III.
And yet Rosen has also showed signs of immaturity—two years ago he and some friends rearranged a neighbor’s lawn ornaments in sexually suggestive positions—and just plain poor judgment. Since arriving at UCLA he has set off a social media firestorm over presidential politics, deleted at least one provocative Instagram post and been forced to apologize to the school. The coach is constantly asking Rosen whom he wants to be: Peyton Manning or Johnny Manziel?
“I’m not going to f‑‑‑‑‑‑ get in trouble for drugs or anything like that, but I don’t want to be this crystal-clean guy with perfect responses,” says Rosen. “I’m not going to pretend to be 50. I just want to be happy and enjoy the experiences I have and take advantage of every opportunity I’ve been given.”
There’s absolutely nothing Rosen can do at this point to stop these types of categorizations. Even if he says and does the right things, they will persist. How much stock NFL teams put in them will determine if he slips.
More than a few teams are likely hoping that’s the case.