It’s clear the Philadelphia Eagles need an upgrade at backup QB, and trading Alshon Jeffery for Nick Foles makes perfect sense for all sides.
The Philadelphia Eagles have an opening at backup QB. 40-year-old Josh McCown did an admirable job filling in for the injured Carson Wentz in Sunday’s Wild Card loss to the Seahawks, and while the game remained close, the offense ultimately failed to get it done. As Howie Roseman and the Eagles prepare to move into offseason mode, the goal remains to field the best collection of 53 guys to propel a team to championship glory. One of those 53 players needs to include backup QB Nick Foles.
Yes, the same backup QB who propelled the Eagles to their first Super Bowl two years ago. The same backup QB who powered the team to a late-season surge and playoff win just one year ago. And the same backup QB who finished the 2019 season sitting on the Jaguars bench in favor of rookie Gardner Minshew.
If the goal truly is to win the championship, bringing back Foles makes perfect sense. Ask yourself: aside from Carson Wentz, what other QB can you name that will come into Doug Pederson‘s system and confidently expect to produce at a high level and win?
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There is only one answer.
This is Carson Wentz’s team. For any doubters heading into the season, the North Dakota State alum showcased exactly why this is his team and will be for the next decade. But with the goal of winning a championship in mind, Nick Foles is the perfect Robin to Wentz’s Batman. Howie Roseman needs to see this.
There is a financial aspect that makes this challenging. The Jaguars signed Foles to a hefty five-year, $88 million contract during the offseason, including $50 million guaranteed. The Jaguars would be forced to eat almost $19 million if they were to trade him, not to mention the team acquiring Foles having to take on his existing deal (though any trade would likely be predicated on his agreement to a restructured, team-friendly deal).
So what would it cost the Eagles to re-reacquire Foles? Maybe an overpaid, under-performing, disgruntled WR notoriously known for his “anonymous” opinion (and who, ironically, continues to yearn for the connection once shared with Foles)?
Yes, trading Alshon Jeffery for Nick Foles makes perfect sense and isn’t as unlikely as one might expect. Jeffery restructured his deal in September which guaranteed his money in 2020 (meaning, like the Jaguars contract with Foles, requires the Eagles to absorb a big chunk of the contract). His cap hit in 2020 is almost $16 million, and like the Jaguars, the financial burden would be less if Jeffery was traded.
Enter the Jeffery-for-Foles discussion.
Wide receiver is regularly regarded as an area of need for the Jaguars. And while the team may prefer a younger pass catcher, it’s worth a phone call from Roseman. The added benefit of salary cap relief via trade would alleviate some burden for each team.
So why wouldn’t the Eagles consider bringing back Foles, the clear-cut best option at backup QB?
For one, the cost. While any deal would likely require a contract restructuring, the former Super Bowl MVP will still cost more than a journeyman veteran or unproven younger option. Second, does bringing back Foles affect Wentz’s psyche? Wentz just capped off an excellent 2019 campaign amid an inordinate amount of turbulence and injury. Wentz is a star, and this season proves it. The Eagles may want to promote this upward trajectory without any threat of potential conflict.
Ultimately, I believe the team doesn’t bring back Foles, but it’s certainly worth exploring. The confidence inside that building with Wentz AND Foles is extremely high – from players and coaches, to the energy of fans – something that needs to be considered.
You could literally feel the energy drained from the stadium when Wentz left Sunday’s game. Would this happen with Foles stepping in? I highly doubt it. If anything, the cheers would resonate in true “Rocky” fashion! Philly thrives on underdog status, and both Wentz and Foles embody the city’s endearing spirit.
The next few months will prove extremely exciting for Eagles fans, and trading Alshon Jeffery for Nick Foles is quality food-for-thought. Hopefully, Howie Roseman and Co. chew on the same idea.