QUARTERBACK Nick Foles is up for trade by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The two questions I keep hearing and reading are “Should we trade for Nick Foles?” and “Do you want the Eagles to trade for Nick Foles?” Funny thing is, many fans treat those like they mean the same thing, but really those two questions are a million miles apart.
Should we? Yes. The Eagles need a back-up QB with Josh McCown unlikely to be back. If we bring in another QB, it should be someone who fits the system, and culture. Someone the roster can rally behind, if our starter gets hurt. Foles meets those qualifications better than anyone else we could put in that #2 slot. In fact, Foles meets those qualifications even better than QB Tom Brady could. And I dare you to argue with that.
Do I want it? Yes. I want anything that obviously helps us be stronger. In January, we watched McCown get hurt and still keep the Eagles in a playoff game. Given that McCown was able to do as much as he did, there is no way that you can convince me that
A) if QB Carson Wentz doesn’t get cheapshot, we still lose that game.
B) if Foles (being more familiar with the roster) stepped in instead of McCown, that we still lose that game.
NOTE: This is not to say that McCown lost that game for us. Far from it. The guy was a gamer for us, and was a hell of a teammate. It would do me proud to see him in midnight green in 2020.
That all having been said, Foles coming here is out of the question, right? We can’t afford him, right? Sit. Have some tea. It’s Blood Orange. Outside the box tea, for outside the box thinking.
The deal that he’s on in Jacksonville? He was never going to be a Jaguar past 2021. Media types were saying that while the ink was still drying on the contract. Only 50 of the 88 million was ever guaranteed, and after 2020 the Jags can either cut Foles and eat 12.5M in dead money, or pay Foles the remaining 53.875 million over two years.
Bottom line: After 2020 Foles is owed just 12.5M if he’s cut. Letting him keep his roster spot exposes the Jags to owing him more money. So he won’t be there under any circumstance in 2021.
Just over a year ago (2/21/2019) I wrote “WHY NOT KEEP NICK FOLES?”. In that article I proposed 50M over 5, with 3 years guaranteed. Putting my GM hat back on a year later, I’d up that ante. 50 over 5, with every red cent guaranteed, with retirement being the only caveat language. If he (or his wife Tori) wants a no-trade clause, add it.
Next to the CBA (whenever it gets done) that’s an easy lift for a ringer in the #2 slot. It guarantees Foles stays until he’s 36 – 37, and basically retires him as an Eagle. A quick call to his agent Justin Schulman, will determine if Foles is amenable to reworking his deal. If so, we need to make the trade.
What about Carson!? (Shrug) What about him? If he and Foles truly have a great relationship, he should welcome it. If he secretly doesn’t want Foles to steal his spotlight, then the next time he volunteers to go into a tent, there should be s’mores involved. “With your shield, or on it.”
But what do we trade them? Hold on. Let’s understand the terrain before we travel any further. Trading Foles is a salary cap purge for them. As I outlined in that article from last year, most teams already have their prospective QB of the future. Thus, trading for Foles is asking for a back-up with an eight figure per year, price tag. Throw in a decent QB Draft pool, and the trade partners get really slim for Jacksonville.
How about we dangle DE Derek Barnett? Unless he has a monster 2020, we’d be silly to pick up his fifth year option after 2020. With them possibly losing DE Yannick Ngakoue, this patches a hole for them, with youth that may have more upside in their system, than in ours.
In fact, since they lost CB A.J. Bouye, I’d sweeten the pot by offering Barnett and CB Sidney Jones. I think Jones has more upside than most fans here do, but I think his confidence will always be an on/off switch. Better to broom him before we have to make any sort of tough financial decisions regarding him.
So we offer something we can’t use, for something they can’t use. We do it before the Draft, so everyone knows what they need to replace as early as possible, and in the process give each other some cap relief, in the time-frames where we each need that space. Afterward, we rework Foles deal to be worth 50M not just 12.5.
As I said, these are two very different questions. BTW: If we don’t get Foles, it would be wise to make a push for Jacoby Brissett, and offer him that same 50 over 5 deal.