The trade market for Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles wasn’t what many expected it would be this offseason. The 29-year-old backup QB is coming off one of the most improbable Super Bowl runs in NFL history. He played the best football of his career in the final two games of the season, and proved to the entire league that he wasn’t just another backup QB.
With Carson Wentz set to return this season from injury, one would think that the trade value for a player like Nick Foles would be sky high. But, the Eagles made it clear that they weren’t just going to trade Foles for anything, they would have to blown away by an offer for them to even contemplate trading the Super Bowl MVP.
The front office also allowed Foles to have a say in any trade talks because he understandably doesn’t want to play for a dysfunctional organization again like he did with the Rams when he was traded back in 2015. There were some rumors here and there; they picked up some steam around the draft, but nothing ever materialized.
So now were about a month away from training camp and it’s starting to look like Foles will be in Philly for at least one more year. That is, of course, if a team doesn’t lose their starting QB before the start of the season and Foles’ trade value suddenly sky rockets.
One team has already lost their starting QB for the first three games of the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jameis Winston has yet again grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons. This time, he was accused and found guilty of groping a female Uber drive back in 2016.
This isn’t the first time the Bucs have had their hands full with this kid. Coming out of Florida State there were massive concerns about his character and maturity, and despite those concerns, the Bucs decided to draft him first overall in 2015. He’s had his fair share of off the field issues since being drafted. He’s been accused of sexual assault on three separate occasions by three different women, including this latest Uber driver allegation. Some of the testimonies that these women give are disturbing and heart breaking — they portray Winston as a monster.
Some Tampa Bay fans have even publicly stated that they will no longer support Winston as their quarterback. Jon Shuzer, a lifelong Buccaneers fan who has had season tickets since the franchise was founded in 1976, told the Tampa Bay Times that he’s no longer going to cheer for Winston. He even shipped his own Winston jersey to the Buccaneers facility with a note attached stating he would no longer support their troubled quarterback after he read the Uber driver’s story and found Winston’s apology insincere.
“That was the breaking point,” Shuzer said. “He was just covering his own [butt]. To me, I didn’t think there was anything tangible in there in terms of owning up to what he did. It was the final straw. You create more chaos by giving a half-hearted apology than by giving none at all.”
Once a fanbase turns on you, it’s hard to gain their trust back (especially if Tampa fans are anything like Philly fans). There has been some speculation surrounding the possible release of Winston, but that would leave an old and tattered Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm — not the most ideal situation.
It was clear heading into this season that the Bucs were going to be an improved team. They added multiple free agents in the offseason and many believed this was the year that Winston would finally break out into the star that he was at Florida State. But now with their franchise QB suspended for the first three games, their season may be over before it even starts.
Unless, they decide to part ways with Jameis, make a trade, and hand the keys to another potential franchise QB: Nick Foles.
It would be a night and day difference from Winston in all the right ways. First, Foles is a born leader. If you haven’t seen the mic’d up videos of him in the Super Bowl that’s all you’ll need to see to realize that. Secondly, he’s straight up just a better QB than Winston at this point. He’ll easily win more games and would probably have Tampa right on the cusp of a playoff berth.
In Winston’s three seasons as a pro he’s been average at best; showing flashes of greatness every so often. He has a terrible turnover problem; since entering the league he’s thrown 44 interceptions and lost 15 fumbles… ouch. Foles has proved to be very efficient in his career, this past season he threw 11 touchdowns to only 3 picks and that’s including the postseason.
I think the possibility of Tampa moving on from Jameis isn’t as far-fetched as some may think, and I think the likelihood of them pursuing a guy like Foles is even less far-fetched. Tampa’s head coach, Dirk Koetter, actually recruited Foles out of high school when he was the head coach at Arizona State.
Foles had verbally committed to AZ State heading into his senior year of high school and he has stated that Koetter was the reason he wanted to go their in the first place. In Foles’ autobiography, he speaks briefly about Koetter recruiting him, “I felt a real connection to Coach Koetter, and I thought the offensive scheme Roy Wittke was running under him would be a great fit for my ‘air it out’ style of play.”
He then goes on to talk about how Coach Koetter was fired before he went there and how that changed his mindset on his recruitment, “I’ve always been a relational guy. Football is football. You can play anywhere. For me, it’s the people I’m playing for an with that make all the difference.”
So clearly, Foles has somewhat of a connection to Koetter and if the Eagles proposed a possible trade that would send Foles to Tampa, I don’t think he would have any problem with it. Tampa isn’t the most dysfunctional franchise in the NFL, and every year it seems like they’re poised to make a leap into contention.
Could Foles be that missing piece? I don’t see why not.
Tampa has also shown in the past that they’ll cut ties with a player for off the field issues. They cut tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in 2016 for getting his second DUI in three years. Obviously, cutting a former first overall pick and face of the franchise is much different than the Seferian-Jenkins case. Nevertheless, I’m sure the Tampa Bay front office is in deep discussions regarding their future with Winston.
Foles could be the perfect antidote to Tampa’s problems with Winston — he has the ability to change the culture of a team, I truly believe that. If Tampa does decide to part ways with Winston, don’t be surprised if the Super Bowl 52 MVP decides to take his talents to Tampa.