In a Pro-Bowl Sophomore season, where Nick Foles threw 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions, he was among the lowest total cap hits for a starting Quarterback in the NFL, only counting just over $655,ooo against the cap (per Over the Cap). Whether or not Foles can build on that season in 2014, or takes a step back, remains to be seen, but no matter how he does he will only see his base salary rise from $500,000 to $615,000. Assuming he builds on his breakout season of a year ago, or even plays at a similar level, Foles would be well within his rights to pursue a new contract after the 2014 season.
Tim McManus of Birds 24/7 polled Joel Corry, a former NFL agent, on what type of deal that Foles could be looking at if he goes to the negotiating table after this season. (Foles’ deal doesn’t expire until after the 2015 season, but after the 2014 season, the Eagles are allowed to discuss a new deal with Foles for the first time.)
As expected, things aren’t going to be cheap.
Corry believes that Foles could end up in Jay Cutler territory. The Bears’ signal-caller recently inked a seven-year, $127 million deal that includes $54 million guaranteed.
“I’m not saying you have to go seven years, but you have to go 18 [per season] on the average,” said Corry. “Now to get in the game with quartertbacks, you’re going to have to go 18 million per season and close to 50 million in guarantees. [Colin] Kaepernick should get done before training camp starts. That’s going to be another benchmark Foles is going to point to. And I can’t see that number coming in below Cutler. He wants $20 million per season…I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets it. That’s just going to be another data point to add to the equation to help Foles.”
$20 million territory isn’t anything to scoff at, but it wasn’t like I was expecting Foles to be in the $14-$16 million range. Franchise Quarterbacks get paid in the NFL today, and lately, they get paid around the tune of $18-$22 million per season.
I think another interesting benchmark for Foles to watch would be Alex Smith. While I hold Foles in a higher regard than I do Smith or Cutler (especially considering that he is playing in Chip Kelly’s offense), Smith is reportedly looking to get $18 million, and if he gets it, it only raises the value of Foles. If the Chiefs elect not to give Smith that money, which is sounds like they might, and he doesn’t get it in free-agency from another team, it keeps Foles’ value around $18 million.
Regardless of what happens with the quarterbacks who help to set Foles’ market value, the Eagles shouldn’t rush a deal. Franchise quarterbacks like Jay Cutler get paid ridiculous amounts, but won’t ultimately go on to win Superbowls. If the Eagles get the sense that Foles is an above-average Quarterback, but not one that could realistically win them a Superbowl, then why should they rush into a long-term deal? If Foles throws 25 touchdowns and 14 picks this year, and the Eagles lose in the first-round of the playoffs, then forcing an extension a year early wouldn’t make sense.