Back in December, which feels like eons ago now, Adam Schefter reported that UCLA QB Josh Rosen preferred to play for the Giants over the Browns and would be “hesitant” to enter the Draft if he knew the latter would pick him. “Privately, Rosen has expressed concern about winding up in Cleveland and would rather be with a more stable franchise, such as the Giants,” Schefter wrote.
While I don’t remember Rosen denying this report at the time, now that the Browns do indeed have the number one pick, Rosen has apparently changed his tune, via NFL Media’s Mike Silver:
After Cleveland media personality Tony Grossi responded that “Unfortunately, perception is reality,” Silver responded:
Silver is widely known to be close with Browns coach Hue Jackson, so Rosen is going to perhaps the best source in media to make this news clear to him. That being said, and while this is ultimately unknowable, given that it took Rosen two months to deny the report it seems plausible that he has changed his mind as opposed to having never said he didn’t want to play for the Browns.
The Browns are a fascinating scenario because on one hand they have been so bad for so long — we’ve all seen the jerseys featuring the ghosts of QBs past — but they are fortified with a ton of high draft picks, approximately a zillion dollars in cap space, and a smart new general manager in John Dorsey. They could conceivably turn it around as soon as this season.
As our Henry McKenna wrote yesterday, Rosen is probably the best-developed QB in this year’s draft, but questions about his attitude could potentially cost him millions of dollars. It will be very interesting to see where he lands and if he can ultimately shed those whispers, or even perform well enough that those whispers don’t matter.