NFL Draft, NFL News

NFL Combine news: Foles hits market, Odell doesn’t, Berry healthy

On Wednesday, NFL head coaches and general managers met with the media. The biggest news came out of Philadelphia, with Nick Foles about to leave.

INDIANAPOLIS — The biggest question coming out of the NFL Combine on Wednesday?

How is Nick Foles going to look in teal?

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman told the media during his presser that the team would not be placing the franchise tag on Foles. From some corners, the move has been painted as the Eagles doing right by a player who delivered their only Super Bowl title back in 2017.

While the story will certainly turn to where Foles ends up — the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are fighting for Line 1 — let’s look deeper into what happened with Philadelphia.

The reality is that Philadelphia couldn’t find a trade partner, and wasn’t going to risk being on the hook for $25 million when he signed the tag. Or as one source indicated, Foles told the Eagles he would immediately sign the one-year franchise tag if the Eagles tried that maneuver, putting him in a very strong position and potentially killing the Eagles against the salary cap.

The Eagles, like every other NFL franchise, weren’t worried about Foles’ feelings. While the relationship was good, Philadelphia would have traded him to Manitoba if it made business sense. Unfortunately for Roseman, no team was going to make an offer for Foles once the Denver Broncos acquired Joe Flacco. With Denver out of the mix, Jacksonville and New York are the only teams that make any sense.

Think about this from Jacksonville general manager Dave Caldwell’s perspective. Caldwell also realizes that it’s a thin, likely two-team market. The other team is a division rival that plays a few hours up the Jersey Turnpike. No chance in hell was Foles being dealt to the Giants. Caldwell was never going to make an offer, knowing Foles was going to hit the market anyway.

In essence, this game of chicken was nothing more than a hopeful illusion. Philadelphia was playing a game of poker while holding a seven and two off-suit against seasoned general managers. At some point, the cards had to be turned over.

That moment finally arrived on Wednesday.

Cardinals keep playing coy with Rosen

General manager Steve Keim made waves when he stated that Josh Rosen is his quarterback, “for now.” Rosen, who Keim traded up for to take with the 10th-overall pick a year ago, is beginning to tip his hand. He wants a team to make him a Godfather offer for the No. 1 overall selection, hoping they believe he wants to take Kyler Murray in that spot.

If Keim was serious about dealing Rosen, he wouldn’t be laying it on so thick. In reality, Keim staked his career on the UCLA star, and moving him would signal that both he was horribly wrong in his evaluation, and that Kliff Kingsbury is really running the show in Arizona.

In Mobile, a team source explained to me that the Cardinals were extremely high on the pass-rushers in this class. It would be a surprise if they reverse course for a quarterback they don’t need.

Jets, Colts expect to be aggressive in free agency

For most of the day, general managers and head coaches practiced the art of saying nothing. While Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and Colts GM Chris Ballard didn’t exactly create 30-inch headlines, both gave insight into their upcoming plans.

Indianapolis has the most cap space in the league, and its intent on spending some. The Colts were a contender by season’s end, and adding a few stars would go a long way towards becoming a favorite. When indirectly asked about interest in Le’Veon Bell, Ballard talked about being willing to spend major money if the player would put them over the top.

As for Maccagnan, the Jets realize that Sam Darnold needs help. Addressing a question about whether he’s inquired on Antonio Brown, Maccagnan stated that he’s always asking teams about players who have been publicly made available. If New York could land Brown and then bring in pieces around him and Darnold, new head coach Adam Gase could dream about that instead of worrying about when the combination of Joe Vitt and Gregg Williams combusts.

Giants won’t trade Beckham, or commit to Eli

Both Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman spoke on Wednesday, and both struck the same chord when discussing Eli Manning: He’s likely back, but there’s going to be someone else as well.

Gettleman referenced the “Kansas City model” which would include drafting a quarterback and sitting him for a year behind Manning. However, the Chiefs were able to pull that off because Alex Smith guided the team to a 10-6, division-winning season. If the Giants are 3-5 at the midway point, good luck selling that to the New York media and fans.

Gettleman also squashed any Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors at the start of his presser. Before being asked a question, the general manager said he didn’t sign Beckham to trade him. Case closed unless a mega-offer is presented.

Chiefs say Berry won’t need surgery

Andy Reid dropped a shocker to the local media before taking the podium, saying that strong safety Eric Berry won’t require surgery. Berry, 30, has missed all but four gams over the last two seasons with a torn Achilles tendon and then a Haglund’s Deformity in his right heel. It was later reported by Yahoo’s Terez Paylor and confirmed by FanSided that Berry sought a second opinion on the heel, and it was deemed to be progressing well.

Keep in mind that if Berry were to have surgery, he wouldn’t be able to pass his March physical. If that happened, the Chiefs wouldn’t be able to cut him. However, if Berry does pass the physical, Kansas City can move on with a post-June 1 designation and save $9.5 million against the cap this year. There’s a lot of moving parts to Berry’s situation that are worth monitoring.

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