So far, here’s everything we know about the Nick Foles situation: the Eagles picked up his mutual option for the 2019 season, Foles then voided that option and re-paid his $2 million bonus in order to become a free agent, and now reports have surfaced that Howie Roseman plans to franchise tag Foles in order to trade him.
Although it seems like Howie wants to go through with this plan, a few reports came out in recent days stating the tag-and-trade scenario may not even be legal. According to the collective bargaining agreement between players and owners, if a team uses a franchise tag on a player, the team must have intentions of keeping said player for the duration of the tender. The official rule reads as this:
“A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.”
So if Howie does plan on tagging and trading Foles, will his camp take the Eagles to court for violating his rights? It’s hard to say, though it’s definitely a possibility.
But honestly, why is Howie even trying to do this?
I understand the NFL is a business at the end of the day, but hasn’t Foles done enough for this city? Do we really need to squeeze an extra draft pick or asset out of him?
Letting him walk will net the Eagles a third-round compensatory pick regardless, so I’m not sure why Howie is going to such great lengths to get an extra asset out of him.
One theory is that he’s trying to prevent him from signing within the division, and I get that to an extent. We saw what Foles did with weapons like Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz. Now imagine if he was on the Giants and had Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Sheppard and Evan Ingram. The Birds have a solid core of skill players, but the Giants have a top-5 player at wideout and running back — that’s hard to beat.
My thinking on this is, if the organization truly has as much faith in Wentz as they’ve led us to believe, who cares who’s playing QB for the Giants? Or any team we face for that matter.
On top of that, it doesn’t sound like the Giants are quite ready to move on from Eli. Giants’ beat writer Dan Duggan of the Athletic confirmed that notion
“The sense is the Giants will stick with the two-time Super Bowl MVP [Manning],” Duggan wrote. “The Giants are far more likely to pursue Manning’s successor in the draft than paying $20 million per year for a free agent like Foles.”
What Duggan is saying here makes sense. Why would the Giants replace an aging QB with a 30-year-old free agent when they have a high draft pick they can use on a QB?
Not to mention Eli is beloved in New York. One of the biggest reasons Ben McAdoo got fired mid-season in 2017 was because he benched Eli. Everyone outside of New York realizes what Manning is now; a dink and dunk QB with little to no pop left in his right arm. But Steve Tisch and John Mara don’t seem to view it this way. So I would imagine they’ll take a QB in this upcoming draft and develop him behind Eli for a year or two.
The bottom line here is, Howie should just let Foles walk. The Giants don’t seem very interested in him, and I don’t think any of us are worried about the Redskins even if they do snag Foles.
The NFL can be a cutthroat business at times, and sometimes the line between doing what’s right by the player and what’s right for the team can get blurred. In this instance, letting the man who helped the team bring home its first Lombardi trophy walk on his own terms should be a no-brainer. Hopefully, Howie does the right thing here.