Miscellaneous, NFL

Nick Foles in driver seat of his NFL future

The Eagles and Nick Foles are going through another magical run into the postseason. But this will most likely be his last hurrah in Philadelphia.

Nick Foles controls not only the Philadelphia Eagles immediate future, but he’s in almost complete control of his own future after guiding a second magical late-season run.

To put it another way, the man who almost quit the game is now about to cash-in like never before. But for those who believe the Eagles will have some say in that payoff for Foles, that’s highly unlikely.

A source with extensive knowledge of the situation told FanSided this week that it’s unlikely the Eagles will be able to trade or re-sign Foles this offseason. Foles has one year remaining on his contract after this season, but his $20 million salary is prohibitive for the Eagles. And while the Eagles could try to manipulate the system to put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, that’s also highly unlikely.

For his part, Foles said he’s unconcerned about what will happen beyond this season. The Eagles travel to New Orleans for the NFC Divisional Round playoff on Sunday.

“Yeah, I don’t worry about it,” Foles said Wednesday. “I’ve told y’all before, the future, that will take care of itself. If I worried about that right now, I wouldn’t be able to really focus in and enjoy the present. There’s plenty of things to focus on right now in preparing for the Saints and just getting the body and mind and everything ready for this game. I’m just focused on being here, being the best teammate I can be and preparing for this Sunday’s game.”

NFL Network’s insider, Ian Rapoport, caused a stir when he proclaimed the Eagles will be shopping the services of Foles in the offseason. In addition, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman said several teams are expected to make a run at Foles.

Despite those reports, the source close to the situation said he didn’t expect the Eagles to get much, if anything, for Foles. The Eagles are projected to be approximately $14 million over the salary cap for the 2019 season. Keeping a backup quarterback with a cap number of more than $20.6 million will be almost impossible unless the Eagles want to cut several players.

Moreover, if the Eagle try to trade Foles to get out from underneath the cap, Foles would essentially have final say over the deal. No team is going to trade much for Foles unless he agrees to a contract extension upon execution of the trade. In turn, Foles likely wouldn’t go along with a deal that would rob his next team of vital resources, such as high draft picks.

The Eagles could decide to part ways with guys like Jason Peters, Rodney McLeod and Tim Jernigan and free up a little bit over $33 million in cap space. Even then, keeping Foles or putting the franchise tag on him if he takes advantage of the $2 million buyout option he has in his contract would put the Eagles in a tough spot. The Eagles have several important free agents headlined by Brandon Graham, Jay Ajayi, Ronald Darby and Jordan Hicks. The team cannot afford to solely focus on Foles while losing out on opportunities to keep some core pieces of their roster.

Thus, the source said that the expectation is that Foles will end up hitting the open market with the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Joe Flacco, and potentially Eli Manning. Given Foles’ recent success compared to the rest of the group, there’s reason to believe he’ll be the most sought of the available quarterbacks and could easily command more than $20 million per year on a long-term contract.

Foles could ultimately decide he’s too comfortable in Philadelphia and try to finish his career behind Wentz, but the market for his services will be strong. Teams such as Jacksonville, Miami, Washington and the New York Giants could be in the market for Foles.

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