Despite whatever your opinion is on the Foles v. Wentz debate, the Eagles seem to be dead set on handing the team back over to Wentz next year. And with Foles’ contract about to expire, it’s likely that he’ll be wearing a different uniform next season as well.
The most likely scenario for Foles is that he and the Eagles decline his mutual option for 2019 and he hits the open market. If the organization wants to do right by Foles, this will be the route they chose. It’ll allow him to pick wherever he wants to play next. Unlike the last time he was dealt from Philly, when he ended up in the black hole of St. Louis with head coach Jeff Fisher. Foles has expressed just how important a functional organization and coaching staff is to him, it’s part of the reason he didn’t retire and went to Kansas City to backup Alex Smith (and ultimately why he chose to come back to Philly to back up Wentz).
Although letting Foles test free agency is the most likely scenario, the Eagles could sign Foles to a franchise tender and trade him (similarly to what the Dolphins did with Jarvis Landry last offseason). I’m sure the Eagles would prefer this over just letting him walk. Letting an asset like Nick Foles walk out of your building for nothing doesn’t seem like something Howie Roseman would let happen.
He’s been known to maximize the worth of his assets in the past. Trading Sam Bradford to Minnesota for a first-round pick, trading a third-round pick to the Ravens for Timmy Jernigan and a fourth-round pick, trading a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins for Jay Ajayi, the list goes on and on. There’s no reason to think Howie couldn’t do the same thing with a Super Bowl MVP.
If the Eagles do decide to go that route, here’s three teams who could potentially trade for him. Some of these trades may seem like high asking prices for Foles, but if you think Howie is going to give up Foles for anything less than this, you’re out of your mind.
Eagles Receive: Jalen Ramsey & 2019 3rd round pick
Jaguars Receive: Nick Foles & 2019 6th round pick
The Jaguars invested a lot of money into Blake Bortles last offseason ($26 million guaranteed to be exact), and after a pretty terrible season the team may be looking to start fresh. Bortles is set to have a $21 mil. cap hit next season, so the Jaguars are going to have to find a way to move on from Bortles first before they start to even think about acquiring someone like Foles.
The Jags still have a young nucleus of players that they can build around, but with head coach Doug Marrone entering a season where he’ll be on the hot seat, he may look to shake up his personnel to send a message to the team.
Rumors about potential departures in the offseason started to swirl mid-season once the Jags’ season started going downhill. The biggest name to come out of these rumors was All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey. The team obviously shot these reports down once they became public, but league sources still believe the Jags will at least entertain offers.
The Jags are still searching for an Offensive Coordinator after firing Nathaniel Hacket during the 2018 season. Whoever they decide to bring on board could be a factor on whether the team decides to pursue Foles or not. So far, they’ve interviewed Darrel Bevel, Todd Monken and most interestingly, John DeFilippo. All of these coordinators run west coast systems, which suits Foles’ skill set much more than Bortles’.
Bringing in an established QB like Foles may be just what the Jags need to get back into playoff contention next season. And while Ramsey may be their best defensive player, the value of a franchise QB is exponentially higher than a franchise cornerback. Ramsey fills a huge need for the Eagles as well, so this deal would make sense for both sides.
Eagles Receive: Kenyan Drake, 2019 1st round pick (13th overall) & 2019 4th round pick.
Dolphins Receive: Nick Foles & 2019 5th round pick.
Whoever the Dolphins bring in to be their new head coach, it’s very unlikely that they’ll continue with Ryan Tannehill under center. With the 13th overall pick, they’ll have to trade up if they want to get one of the top tier QBs. And a trade up to a top-3 draft pick may end up costing them more draft capital than it would to trade for someone like Foles.
The Eagles will likely try to get an impact player along with a draft pick or two in exchange for Foles. They will be in the market for a solid running back this offseason, so offering Kenyan Drake would pique the Eagles’ interest. Throwing their 13th overall pick into the mix would likely get the deal done, along with swapping some late round picks.
Drake is also still on his rookie deal, so the Eagles would easily be able to take on his cap hit for next season. And if the Dolphins move on from Tannehill, they’ll have more than enough cap room to sign Foles to a long-term deal.
If Miami likes what they’ve seen out of Foles and move on from Tannehill as expected, this deal is a realistic possibility for both sides.
Eagles Receive: Giovani Bernard, 2019 2nd & 3rd round pick.
Bengals Receive: Nick Foles & 2019 5th round pick.
The Bengals have yet to find a new head coach, but they’re reportedly leaning towards Rams’ QB coach Zac Tyler. If they do go in that direction, I could see them giving Andy Dalton one last shot to see what he can do. But with eight years under his belt now, it seems like he’s hit his ceiling. If the Bengals seriously want to move on from Dalton, this would be the offseason to do it.
Getting rid of Marvin Lewis was their first step in the right direction, getting a new franchise QB should be their next move.
Despite their struggles recently, the Bengals still have a talented roster and have the pieces to be in playoff contention. So I don’t think drafting a QB would be their best plan of action. With weapons like A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, two receivers who love to go deep, they’re going to need a QB who can get them the ball downfield. Insert Nick Foles, perhaps the best deep ball thrower in the NFL. I think any Bengals fan would love to swap Dalton out with a guy like Foles.
If the Bengals were interested in making a deal happen, offering Giovani Bernard and their 2nd round pick would get the ball rolling on discussions. Bernard fills an immediate need for the Eagles and with a cap hit of just 4.5 million in 2019, he’ll be relatively cheap. Adding in a 3rd round pick to the deal in exchange for the Eagles’ 5th would probably get the deal done.