"Even as they signal a commitment to a rebuilding plan, the New York Giants still do not expect to move on from 38-year-old quarterback Eli Manning this year, according to multiple sources familiar with their strategy.
"Sources said they would explore a trade for Arizona's Josh Rosen, if the Cardinals decide to make him available, but that they aren't sure yet whether that will happen or whether they would be sure to make an offer for Rosen if it did."
The commitment to Manning has earned general manager Dave Gettleman criticism, especially as New York has parted ways with much younger assets such as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and safety Landon Collins.
The departure of Beckham came as the biggest shock, as the Giants dealt him and linebacker Olivier Vernon to the Cleveland Browns in separate trades. Altogether, the Giants netted right guard Kevin Zeitler, safety Jabrill Peppers, a 2019 first-round pick, third-round pick and fifth-round pick.
After the moves, Gettleman said in a press release (h/t NJ.com) that the Giants "do have a plan, and this is part of it." Using their new bevy of picks to go after 22-year-old Rosen would make that plan much clearer to the outside world.
Matt Lombardo of NJ.com laid out how that might work:
"Imagine that, trading Beckham clears the way for the Giants to trade for their quarterback of the future without need[ing] to invest either of their two selections in the top 20. ... Hypothetically, if the Giants trade for Rosen this week and release Eli Manning prior to Monday, they would free up an additional $13 million in cap space to potentially add a free agent wide receiver and depth in the defensive front-seven."
From Rosen's perspective, as the Giants roster is currently constructed, the only enticing part about joining Big Blue would be teaming up with Offensive Rookie of the Year running back Saquon Barkley. However, the situation in New York is no more stable than Arizona was in Rosen's rookie year.
The Cardinals finished 2018 a league-worst 3-13.
Former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury is entering his first season at the helm in Arizona and stated on Feb. 12 that Rosen "is our guy" among speculation that Kingsbury may want to draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick.
Whether Kingsbury is bluffing or being truthful, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com explored the likelihood of a Rosen trade:
"Looking at a potential Rosen trade, I believe you could easily flip the former first-round pick for a middle-round selection based on his play and contract. ... With that in mind, I believe a team in need of a QB1 would certainly opt for Rosen over one of the signal-callers available in the 2019 draft.
"You could make a reasonable argument that Rosen would be the best passer in the class or cherry pick the top five and slot him in where he fits."
If the Cardinals end up keeping Rosen, the onslaught of rumors questioning the franchise's commitment to him just one season in would presumably damage his confidence moving forward.