The Eagles will have a tough decision to make at the quarterback position whenever their season ends. Nick Foles holds the key to the franchise’s future.
The Philadelphia Eagles are enjoying another shocking postseason run under quarterback Nick Foles. Last year’s Super Bowl MVP has led the team to four straight wins, including a big wild card win over the Chicago Bears this past Sunday.
While the team’s franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, is healing from a stress fracture in his back, Eagles fans are focused on another Super Bowl run with Foles under center. As many debates who the Eagles should ultimately choose to go forward with at quarterback, the organization seems poised to follow the plan of developing and rolling with their second-overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft in Wentz, and surveying the market for Foles’ services.
“I think people sort of forget how good Carson Wentz is,” Rapoport told the 94WIP Morning Show on Wednesday. “Before injury, he was one of the MVPs of the league. So yeah, whenever it’s over they go back to Carson Wentz and basically see how they can maximize the value they have with Nick Foles.”
This may come as a surprise to some, especially considering the fact Philadelphia won a Super Bowl with Foles at quarterback, but this is ultimately a long-term decision for the team, which Rapoport also points out in the interview.
“He has been incredible, probably the best backup quarterback in NFL history, certainly the most successful,” Rapoport said of Foles. “But to me, it’s not about the next couple years, it’s about the next 15 years.”
The Eagles hold all the cards in Foles’ future as well. The team does own a $20 million option for his services in 2019, but Foles can return $2 million of that and become an unrestricted free agent as well. The team could also opt to franchise tag the quarterback, which Rapoport also mentions as a possibility, and then shop his services around the league.
Foles is entering a weak quarterback market headlined by soon-to-be former Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco, and himself. The 2019 NFL Draft quarterback class is also insanely weak compared to the past couple classes, which also plays into Foles’ and the Eagles’ favor.
The price tag for Foles is expected to be steep, but according to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, there are teams prepared to meet it.
Numerous team officials from both the AFC and NFC have told Freeman there will be a “free-for-all” in the pursuit of Foles. In fact, Freeman even predicts he’ll be one of the most sought after players of all time.
“There are a lot of teams that will shoot their shot at Foles,” one NFC West scout said, “and [in the circumstances of Philadelphia franchise tagging Foles] will be willing to part with substantial draft picks to do it.”
The hold up to any potential Foles deal is his willingness to sign an extension with the team that potentially acquires his services. Many mega deals are contingent, such as this predicted one, on a long-term deal. For example, the New England Patriots sent former quarterback Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. The Patriots received a second-round pick for Cassel, who then went on to sign a long-term deal with Kansas City after the deal was agreed upon.
The Eagles franchise and their owner, Jeffery Lurie, know this all too well. The team shipped young quarterbacks AJ Feeley and Kevin Kolb in mega trades before netting second-round picks for their services. Both quarterbacks agreed to extensions with their teams (Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals), and the same should be expected of Foles.
These are the steps that will ultimately decide where Foles ends up in 2019. No team will part with large draft capital for not a sure thing and the Eagles, along with their Super Bowl MVP quarterback, know this.
The turn of events in Foles’ career are incredible given that only three seasons ago he was considering retirement.
Foles signed with Philadelphia during the 2017 offseason to provide Wentz with the best insurance policy possibly, which ultimately paid off dearly for Philadelphia when they lost their star quarterback to an ACL tear amid an MVP-caliber season. Foles led the team to their first Super Bowl title shortly after, capping off a bizarre fairy tale to his already odd NFL career.
Now it looks as if Foles will be the most coveted quarterback of the 2019 off-season. His career in Philadelphia appears to be over once the team’s postseason run is ends.
With potential starting quarterback openings with the Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and perhaps the Oakland Raiders on the horizon, expect Foles to be under center week one of the 2019 season in one of those uniforms.