Josh Rosen will start for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. This is ostensibly a reward for a job well-done and an admission that things cannot get worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick. Though Rosen will never say as much publicly, it'd be human to have some extreme trepidation about the promotion.
The good news is that he's the guy now. The bad is that it's on a team with the potential to be the worst in NFL history. Rosen has no playmakers, no offensive line protection, and no defensive unit to set his charges up in advantageous position.
Rosen, taken 10th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, started 13 games for the Arizona Cardinals last season. He completed 55 percent of his passes, threw more picks than touchdowns, and won three times. The franchise decided to cut bait and deal him in the offseason to explore greener Kyler Murray pastures.
He handled it with dignity and class, no small feat for a guy who has been parrying character questions since his freshman year of college. Rosen's homeostasis has been living in an untenable sludge.
Constant upheaval at Cal. An impossible high bar at Arizona without the tools to clear it. A shotgun wedding with a Miami franchise looking to use him as a means to an end in next year's draft.
He goes to Dallas as a three-touchdown underdog. Rosen is the sacrificial lamb, the crash test dummy. The second-year quarterback has been thrown to the wolves and against walls year after year after year.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again expecting different results. Rosen must feel a bit out of his mind now. He's in a new place, but the script is still the same. He's to take his lumps and then be supplanted by a flashier model.
In a way he should have a kinship with Fitzpatrick. They are at the same placeholder table. They are asked to play 60 minutes and no one really cares if they win or lose.
So, uh, congratulations to the new guy in South Beach. Choppy seas ahead.