NASHVILLE — The Arizona Cardinals hold the keys to the entire first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. And they just might hold the keys to the Giants’ future as well.
There is no doubt the Giants will be watching closely tonight when the Cardinals make the first overall pick, sometime around 8 p.m. Arizona is widely expected to select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. And once they do — or if they do — it’ll be clear that their current quarterback, Josh Rosen, will be available in a trade.
The Giants have already had internal discussions about the possibility of trading for Rosen, as SNY has reported, and an NFL source said they’ve also spoken to the Cardinals, too. Those conversations, the source said, were very preliminary and were just an attempt by the Giants to get an idea of the Cards’ intentions and what the price for Rosen might be.
For the moment, their intentions and asking price remain a mystery — at least publicly. The Giants, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins have all been linked to an interest in Rosen, to varying degrees. But it doesn’t appear that the Cards have engaged in any serious trade talks with anyone yet.
That could change at any point on Thursday, of course, and the Cardinals’ phones would surely be ringing a lot if they really do make Murray the first pick.
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The Giants will likely want to get clarity quickly, because they are interested in possibly drafting a quarterback of their own in the first round. Most likely the Giants will look to draft a quarterback with their second first-round pick (17th overall) so they’ll have a little time. But they won’t want any talks to linger, especially since they might have to trade up in the first round to get the quarterback that they want.
How interested they are in the 22-year-old Rosen likely depends on the price. The Giants will not trade either of their first-round picks for Rosen, a source said, and are not likely to trade their second-round pick (37th) either. They might be willing to part with their third-round pick (95th), but they don’t expect that will be enough by itself to get a deal done.
Of course, the price could change. Right now, the other two known suitors for Rosen could both draft a quarterback in the first round — the Dolphins at 13 and the Redskins at 15. If both of them draft a quarterback, the Cards’ options for dealing Rosen would severely diminish and the price could suddenly drop.
All that, though, is based on the premise that the Cards will A) draft Murray and B) trade Rosen, and neither of those is guaranteed. There are NFL sources who believe the Cards will ultimately decide to draft either Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa or Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams at No. 1, which would mean Rosen would never hit the market. There have also been reports that the Cards would draft Murray and keep Rosen, perhaps trading him later in the spring or summer.
But again, if the Cards draft Murray, the Giants probably won’t want to wait to find out if they can get Rosen. Until they get that clarity, though, the Cardinals are the only ones with the answers to the biggest mystery in this draft.