Just before the NFL’s scouting combine, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen wanted to put a story to rest.
Rosen insists he has no problem playing for the Cleveland Browns, who have the first and fourth picks and need a quarterback. An ESPN report in December said Rosen preferred the New York Giants, who have the second pick, and would be hesitant to declare for the draft if he knew the Browns would pick him.Cleveland has a long and depressing list of quarterbacks who have failed there, and are 1-31 over the past two seasons. It wasn’t even that big of a surprise when that report came out, given Cleveland’s history.
But Rosen said there’s no truth to it.
“I’ve never said anything about not wanting to play in Cleveland,” he told NFL Network’s Michael Silver, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I don’t know where that came from. There’s absolutely no foundation in reality in that.”
If you’re looking for some loopholes in that quote — he doesn’t exactly say he wants to play for Cleveland, only that he never said he wouldn’t — Silver also said Rosen will look Browns GM John Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson “in the eye” and tell them he’d happily play for the Browns. Assuming Rosen doesn’t send signals to the Browns to not draft him, he’d clearly be in play for them with the first pick. Rosen is as polished as any quarterback prospect. The Browns will also consider Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield, but Rosen is as good as any of them and will be considered for the top overall pick.
We’ll probably hear about it if Rosen doesn’t look the Browns’ executives in the eye and tell them he wants to be drafted by them. The four top quarterbacks are the biggest story in this draft, and if Rosen is in play for Cleveland, it makes that storyline even more interesting.
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