The Dolphins handed the keys to Rosen on Thursday, naming him the team's starter for the Week 3 game at Dallas, and officially putting the 2018 first-round pick on a 14-game clock to show what he can do.
With three 2020 first-round picks and a willingness to undergo an extreme rebuild, the Dolphins seem destined to draft a quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft. It has seemed that way all offseason, and the past month's increased teardown, has only reaffirmed that belief. Miami holds a 61.7% chance to land the No. 1 overall pick, per ESPN's FPI, and Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa is the early leader as the top quarterback available. It seems like a match fated to happen.
One of the few people who could possibly stand in the way of that projected draft path is Rosen.
But can Rosen really change their mind? He believes he can.
No matter how stripped down the Dolphins' talent is because of a future plan, Rosen will put up a fight. The Dolphins have been outscored 102-10 in their first two games with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter, so the ceiling isn't that high.
"I'll push him every single day for him to get better, and if he doesn't get better, I'll hopefully surpass him at some point," a disappointed Rosen said in late August when Fitzpatrick was named the Dolphins starter. "It's only [a matter of] time that this team is mine."
And that time is now, Rosen. The mission now is for Rosen, 22, to do enough to cast doubt in the Dolphins' destined plan. No matter the tough circumstance or his previously poor performances, Rosen will be judged on his game going forward.
One of Brian Flores' top themes as Miami's coach has been competition and fair chances. If we hold him to those, there's only one conclusion: Yes, Rosen has a slim chance to succeed. He has precisely 14 games to prove his case that he is worth a long-term investment. (But, Rosen should be aware there's a very good chance that his best might not be good enough.)
Rosen has flashed some talent, but most of his NFL career has been a mix of inconsistency and hesitancy -- two traits not unusual for a young quarterback. He he finally showed enough comfort in the Dolphins' offense in practices that pushed Flores to make a change.
"He said he's learned more here in the last couple months than he has, he said in his whole career," Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said this week, alluding to the learning curve Rosen has had to overcome. But finding a bonafide franchise-changing quarterback -- not just an unknown developing one -- is on Grier's mind.
"We're going to do whatever we can to make our team better right away. For us, yeah, we've all talked about the quarterback being an important piece, and it's competition. We're not shying away from that."
This isn't about the bad hand (think 3-8 offsuit in Texas Hold 'em bad) that Rosen has been dealt over the past two years. This isn't about how poorly Rosen performed in Arizona and for much of Miami's offseason that led to Fitzpatrick's winning the job. This isn't about how there is a real chance Rosen might be forced to start over for the third time in three seasons. All of those things are true, but they aren't the point.
This is about how Rosen maximizes his opportunity -- the only thing he asked for when he arrived in Miami in late April after the Cardinals traded him.
"Very rarely do you get a second chance to make a first impression," Rosen said of his move to Miami. "It felt like I got drafted twice."
Nothing is more important for the Dolphins' 2019 season than figuring out a concrete plan for their quarterback of the future.
Rosen has an uphill 14-game tryout, but there's still a chance.