The 49ers signed Josh Rosen off of Tampa Bay's practice squad late in the 2020 season. He struggled to impress in training camp, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has been vocal about Rosen's poor performance.
In the 49ers' first preseason game this year, Rosen played most of the second half and went 10/15 for 93 yards and an interception. That performance wasn't enough for the team to retain him for the upcoming season.
It has been a torrid time in the NFL for Rosen, but what exactly happened?
What has gone wrong with QB Josh Rosen?
Josh Rosen had 16 starts in 20 games through four seasons with four different teams. His high draft selection could be the only reason we are still talking about Rosen today.
The debate for years has been whether Josh Rosen's issues come from not getting a fair shake in the NFL. First-year head coach Steve Wilks made his first big move with the Cardinals with Josh Rosen, the fourth QB drafted and seen as possibly the best QB in the class.
His main flaws at the time were a need to grow up and mature into a better leader. As many do, Rosen had a poor rookie year, but Wilks was fired once Kliff Kingsbury became available.
Kliff Kingsbury wanted his guy for his system, and the best fit was Kyler Murray, the no.1 overall pick. Rosen was then traded to Miami, where he competed with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but struggled again, as he was tossed into a starting role before he was ready, which damaged his confidence.
Miami took QB Tua Tagovailoa 5th overall the next season, and it was deja vu for Josh Rosen. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed him in their practice squad and hoped to groom him with Tom Brady's help. But Rosen chose not to win a Super Bowl ring and signed with the 49ers. However, they took QB Trey Lance at #3 this year, and the rest is history.
By now, it's a surprise that Rosen has chosen to remain in the NFL, so big props to him. Anyone's mental state and confidence would have been shredded to bits after being replaced three times by high draft picks that resulted in the player being shipped elsewhere.
Every team he's been in, other than Tampa Bay, was a poor fit for Rosen, even Arizona. Looking back, Josh Rosen needed a team with a veteran starter ahead of him, as he clearly wasn't NFL-ready but was full of potential. Two or three years of learning on the bench would've been the best for him. Honestly, the Pittsburgh Steelers came up every time Rosen became available.
Josh Rosen was a victim of 'wrong place, wrong time' in the NFL and could return to his prime at 24. In his preseason game, his skills looked rusty, possibly because of his state of mind.
Pittsburgh may still make sense, as their coaching staff is elite in finding the best in their players. The Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans and LA Rams could also sit him on the bench and teach him from scratch.