Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim offered a vague endorsement of quarterback Josh Rosen at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
Keim was asked Wednesday whether Rosen, whom the Cards selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft, should be viewed as the team's starter.
"He is, right now," Keim told reporters.
Rosen struggled mightily as a rookie. He completed just 55.2 percent of his throws for 2,278 yards with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions across 14 games (13 starts). He ranked last among qualified quarterbacks in ESPN.com's Total QBR and 37th in Pro Football Focus' QB grades.
Although he was far from alone in failing to meet expectations as Arizona finished with the NFL's worst record at 3-13, it immediately raised questions about his status as a potential franchise quarterback.
The Cardinals hired offensive-minded Kliff Kingsbury as their new head coach in early January. He's publicly backed Rosen on multiple occasions since taking over the job, including in mid-February:
Keim's latest remarks are less convincing, however, and Kingsbury said in October while serving as the head coach at Texas Tech he'd draft Oklahoma's Kyler Murray with the first pick if he could.
Arizona now owns the No. 1 selection, and Murray—the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and the ninth overall pick of the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB draft—has opted for a career in football over baseball, at least for the time being.
The Cardinals have ample needs on offense and defense, so spending a top-10 pick on a quarterback for the second straight year is far from ideal. An elite edge-rusher like Ohio State's Nick Bosa or Kentucky's Josh Allen to anchor the defense is the other main option.
Yet, quarterback remains far and away the most important position on the field, and if the Cards aren't convinced Rosen is the long-term answer, it's best to act sooner than later, especially with the top pick in hand.
So expect the Murray buzz to amplify further following Keim's comment at the combine.