WHAT’S it like to get a foot in your ass, in a building, with a statue of you in front of it? Well, on Sunday around 5p.m. we should be able to ask former Eagles and current Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson. So far he has the Jacksonville Jaguars looking, and playing like a professional football team.
My prediction of course, seems like pure fan speculation. I have yet to even start assembling the Four Things article, for this upcoming game. So I can’t have a grounded sense of how this one will shake out, right? I mean, the Jags have the NFL’s second highest differential (+46) in points scored to points against. The Eagles come in third (+36) in that category.
Given the Eagles tendency to sleepwalk through the second half of football games, and Jacksonville coming alive after the half, this game has all the makings of a nail biter. Predicting a win this early, with no due diligence just seems like talking shit. Right? Perhaps.
But there’s a deeper narrative to this Eagles season.
The NFL schedule makers forcing us to put down Doug, the week after putting down QB Carson Wentz, almost seems cruel. It also portends that Week 11, QB Nick Foles may be starting in place of QB Matt Ryan, on the day that we face head coach Frank Reich’s Colts. (If it happens, don’t be shocked.) Do you see the pattern forming?
The Universe loves irony, and it has a poetic way of punishing those who ignore it. Nick should have stayed in Philly, but took a shaky contract, and had a horrific time in Jacksonville. Both on and off the field. (I often wonder if Philly’s better hospitals could have saved his unborn child.) During Week One, Carson beat Doug, who didn’t stick up for him here. Then last week, we pounded Carson who requested a trade, into the ground. Reich has gone from guru to damned near punchline in Indianapolis.
Now Doug gets to come back, and get a foot in his ass, at the foot of his statue. Everyone connected with the collapse of our Super Bowl team, has had to swallow bitter medicine as a result of their actions immediately following that demise. So clearly Doug has an ass whipping coming.
And don’t think for a moment that General Manager Howie Roseman won’t get his. The Universe doesn’t fuck around when it dishes. At the moment, EVERYTHING Howie does seems like genius. The world can’t pat him hard enough on the back. Which only sets him up for the biggest fall of them all. Gifted with opportunity by the Universe, they each spat in it’s face.
Understand, I’m not saying that the Universe is angry that the Eagles dynasty was shaken down. I highly doubt it cares about football or any sport. What I’m saying, is that a lot of negative energy went into destroying what was constantly advertised, as good men coming together. Hypocrisy. Being a turncoat. Ingratitude. These things scream at Karma in defiance of it. And that only ends one way.
Ace :(B) CB Zech MacPhearson(Heads up recovery of onside kick)
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these Four Things articles. It’s to point out what we need to address BEFORE the game. Then AFTER the game, there’s a no-bullshit assessment of whether or not the Eagles did any of what they needed to do, to ensure the win.
So how much of what I mentioned in Four Things: Lionsdid the Eagles actually get around to doing? Well let’s see:
1) Run the Ball: Mixed bag here. This time we’ll say that technically the Eagles did this one, because I didn’t specify hand-offs. (But just this time!) We had 39 runs, against 32 pass attempts, but 17 of those runs were from QB Jalen Hurts, who led the team in carries. Some on designed runs, some on scrambles (often too early) from the pocket.
Listen, it’s real hard to argue with 216 rushing yards, a 5.5 team-wide per carry average, and 4 rushing touchdowns from four different players. That said, Hurts can’t be this big a part of it, if he’s going to be the long-term answer at Quarterback. He’s on a 289 carry pace for this season. It’s unsustainable. It’s ill-advised. Credit for this week, but going forward, “Run the ball” means HAND-OFFS. (DONE)
2) Make Goff Run: I came into this season thinking the Eagles had solved not being able to get pressure, with a four man rush. Well, that problem seems to persist. We didn’t make QB Jared Goff (21/37 – 56.7% – 215 – 2 – 1) run much. We didn’t make him feel unsafe. In fact, despite being behind a makeshift o-line, Goff was largely a statue in the pocket. It was embarrassing. (NOT DONE)
3) Challenge Their Receivers: The mission was to hold WR D.J. Chark (8 – 4 – 52 – 13.0 – 1) and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (12 – 8 – 64 – 8.0 – 1) to fewer than 100 yards each. The result was that despite each scoring, they had just 116 yards between them. Neither could claim to have had a good game.
As the cherry on top, CB James Bradberry (2 – 0 – 1 – 0) got us a pick six. He sat on an outside route, and was able to get to a ball tipped by OLB Kyzir White (5 – 0 – 0 – 0). (DONE)
4) Get ‘im!: I said at least 8 passes have to be thrown to whomever CB Jeff Okuda (10 – 0 – 0 – 0) was covering. I counted just 5. While Hurts seems to have a good connection with WR A.J. Brown, getting the ball effectively to anyone else, seems to be a challenge. His under-usage of TE Dallas Goedert(4 – 3 – 60 – 20.0 – 0) is practically criminal. Especially when a blitz is telegraphing itself. (NOT DONE)
So we open the season at 2 of the Four Things. That’s a .500 marker. Let’s not let that, nor this close score, be an indicator of the sort of year we’ll have.
We’ll look to bounce back next week, vs the 1 – 0 Minnesota Vikings. Ever since we molly-whopped them in the 2017 playoffs, they’ve had our number, with wins in 2018 and 2019. Next week in our home-opener, we’ll be looking to have a stop put to that.
On The Whole:
I’m glad and grateful for the “W”. Let’s say that up-front. The Lions came out jacked up on adrenaline, and had a standing room only sized crowd making noise for them. They punched the Eagles in the mouth, right out of the gate. We didn’t panic. Didn’t point fingers or whine for flags or calls. (More on that in a couple minutes.)
What we did was respond, slow the game down, quiet their adrenaline, take the crowd out of the equation, and prove that once again, this game, the season, all of it, every part of it, is a marathon, not a sprint.
There are however, some things to work on! The effects of Starters not playing during the preseason, showed up in this game. Poor tackling, the Defensive Line sticking to blocks, this is what happens when you don’t tackle to the ground in drills, and you don’t play through blocks in drills. Teaching a technique without the finish, isn’t teaching the technique. This needs to get worked on this week.
Hurts not being able to handle the blitz, is an indictment on this coaching staff. His inability to work out of anything besides the Shotgun, is an indictment on this coaching staff. Running RPO’s would be far more effective if he started out from under Center. Think of how effective it was with a non-running QB like Nick Foles. Coaching staffs should fear Hurts. Instead, they run undisguised blitzes at him, because they know he hasn’t figured them out. This must be worked on.
Lastly, all of the hits Hurts took after slides today, should have been penalties. Any player in a slide has “given himself up”, and therefore falls under the “defenseless player”umbrella. Head Coach Nick Sirianni has to go to Owner Jeffrey Lurie and get him to write/call/email the referees, and also make an on-air public statement, saying that Hurts should receive proper protections, and not be the victim of “running QB” bias.
QUARTERBACKNick Folesis 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.
Eat a dick Clowney.
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.
Admit it. You LOVE the idea.
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.
Like I wasn’t going to include this.
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.
This used to be my avatar when I wrote on Yardbarker. This is before I learned how to use Photoshop. (Which today I never use.)
“FUCK you, Nick Foles.” Every Eagles back-up QB has to think that at least twice a day. From the moment that QB Nick Foles’s fingertips made contact with a Lombardi trophy (not THE Lombardi Trophy), a disturbingly large percentage of Eagles fans began a bizarre fascination with the back-up QB position on this roster. This has added undue pressure to a position that really should be devoid of it, and is on 31 other rosters
Don’t get it twisted. I love the guy, but unlike most fans, I recognize, and can admit that what Foles did in 2017, was an anomaly. However last year in 2018, when fractures were detected in QB Carson Wentz’s back, the coaching staff (over Wentz’s protests), decided to shut him down for the last five games of the year. Fans here hardly blinked. “Foles won one Super Bowl, now he’ll do it again” seemed to be the consensus.
That’s really weird for three reasons. First, back in 2017 when Foles didn’t look so hot vs the Raiders (as opposed to his record setting day in 2013), he had plenty of doubters in the fan base. I on the other hand, pumped him up, while putting out stuff like:
The original meme had ‘back-up’ in quotation marks, but it made the words space funny. It also had the numeral 6 instead of the word.
The second thing that makes it weird is, even with Foles gone now, there is still a ton of focus on the back-up spot. In fact, right now it’s getting more press than the starting role. That’s a fact. Some of that has to do with Wentz not playing in the preseason, some of it is due to injuries, but a lot of it is full-on interest in the back-ups here.
The third thing that makes this weird is, the perception that’s overriding reality. The narrative is that back-up QB Nick Foles won the Super Bowl. It’s a cute story, but it’s a myth. It’s a complete and total fabrication. An outright, bold-faced LIE. Foles was never a back-up here. He was our second starter. I explained that in an article from last year. (If you didn’t read that one, please do. As an Eagles fan you’re missing out if you don’t.)
The reality is that only one QB per year will win the Super Bowl. In most cases it will be an Opening Day starting QB who does so. The 31 other Opening Day starters, will fail in their annual mission. For a back-up to win that game is rare. It’s happened for every team in the NFC East, and yet it is still not the norm. Far from it. However, this is the lens that our back-ups are now viewed through.
One last thing, and someone has to have the balls say this. The scrutiny on back-ups wouldn’t be so sharp if Eagles fans were as confident about Wentz not getting hurt, as many profess to be. Basically I’m saying:
I see a lot of Eagles fans verbally sparring with rival fans. Then later on, I see those same Eagles fans discussing whether or not our back-up can win games in the playoffs. I feel like Eagles fans need to either trust Wentz, or PUBLICLY own up to not trusting him. If you trust your starter, the back-up discussions should evaporate.
That’s all part of the legacy that Foles has left here. He has exited stage right, and left a spotlight on that role. For that, I’m sure that a couple times a day, those who now have to assume his mantle, must either think or say very quietly “Fuck you, Nick Foles.”
WITH the Eagles QB room turning into an infirmary, our Front Office went out and signed QB Josh McCown to a 1year, 2M$ deal, that’s worth up to 5.4M with incentives. Lots of fans seem happy with the signing. To me, he’s the Human version of the Kobayashi Maru, the ill-fated ship in Star Trek II’s ‘No win scenario” simulation. So I flat out don’t like the signing. Let me breakdown why.
First off, this signing only has real impact if QB Carson Wentzgets seriously hurt in the first three or four weeks of the season. If that’s the case then we’re fucked already. Yeah yeah, I know, 2017. I was on here making memes about believing in QB Nick Foles when most of the fan base was doubting him. Remember these:
This was after the giants game
That said, 2017 was an anomaly, and 2018 proved it. Back-ups are back-ups for a reason. Don’t let nostalgia get the story twisted.
Speaking of back-ups, I’m hearing that McCown might be ahead of QB Nate Sudfeld on the depth chart, when Sudfeld comes back to active duty. That would be FARCE! McCown will have to be spoon-fed an Offense, that Sudfeld is already steeped in. McCown will have to develop his timing and touch with each receiver, whereas Sudfeld already has that. McCown will have to learn all the blocking protections.
Like Pat Ryan and Mark Sanchez, McCown continues a long tradition of Jets who can to the Eagles to secure their place in the Hall Of Fame.
Unless we’re going to scale back the playbook for him. That usually makes a team predictable, no?
Some are touting McCown’s 17 years of NFL experience. However, what he has lots of experience at, is losing. His career mark as a starter is 23 – 53 (.302). No team he has ever started 10 games for, has EVER seen the playoffs. No team he has started even 7 games for, has ever finished with a .500 record. He’s everything you claim to hate about Sam Bradford. (Minus the sleeves.)
So playing McCown is essentially waving a white flag over the season. If it comes down to us leaning on a non-Wentz QB, why not lean on Sudfeld, or a QB like Clayton Thorson, whom we spent a draft pick on? If we’re just going to roll over and play for Draft position, then doesn’t it make more sense to develop our youth, so that the team has leverage in any possible holdout situation, and doesn’t end up where the Dallas Cowboys currently are?
This McCown signing make zero sense. It’d have made more sense to have WR Greg Ward take a few snaps per week at QB. He’s played the position at a high level in college and could be our 4th string/emergency QB. (It would also put us in position to do what I suggested in THE 12.)
Some look at the surface of this signing and they see a 17 year vet, with a name they recognize. They see that as a good thing. I look under the hood of this signing and I see a (well-traveled) 17 year vet, with a name I recognize (as not being good enough to win). There’s no way I can be happy with this.
THE night belonged to fourth string, rookie QB Clayton Thorson(16/26 – 61.5% – 175 – 1 – 1). That wasn’t the plan, but after third string, journeyman QB Cody Kessler(1 /4 – 25.0 – 11 – 0 – 0) was knocked from the game, Thorson was all we had left. That’s because back-up QB Nate Sudfeld was out with the broken left wrist he suffered last week, and Starting QB Carson Wentzis still not being allowed to wipe his own ass, for fear of injury. (I wasn’t big on the Colin Kaepernick idea, but now I uh… mmm, uhhh… Maybe?)
DE’s Daeshon Hall(2 – 2 – 0 – 0) forced a fumble on one of his two sacks and practically sewed up the #4 DE spot. If we keep 5 of those, then DE Shareef Miller(3 – 1 – 0 – 0)has to have a wide lead on DE Josh Sweat (bupkiss – nope – zero – BONK!). DT/DE Aziz Shittu (1 – 1 – 0 – 0) got his hand on two passes, and did what he’s always done here since 2016: Flash in the preseason before getting caught in a numbers game.
HEY! Here’s a thought. It’s probably good that QB Nick Foles didn’t play last night. His 6th round, rookie, back-up, QB Gardner Minshew(19/29 – 65.5% – 202 – 0 – 0) left the game with a rating of 85.7. Last week Minshew was (7/14 – 50.0 – 46 – 0 – 0) with a rating of 57.4. We’d have made Foles look like goddamned Joe Montana out there.
For Thorson’s part, I already saw some growth in him. In my Ideal 53article, I called him a poor man’s Wentz. In my2019 Draft Report, I said he reminded me of Carson. I said he didn’t seem to have Carson’s willingness to stick the ball into tight spaces, I made the allowance for that to be a lack of trust in his college weapons. WELP! I nailed the hell out of that one.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1)Starters need to play a quarter: Players who wanted to play, played. S Malcolm Jenkins(2 – 0 – 0 – 0) and DE Brandon Graham(no stats, great pressure though), are two examples of that. Players who didn’t want to play, sat. If I start talking about that, this section will become an article. Let’s put a pin in that. (NOT DONE)
2) Go deep to Djax:Can’t if he doesn’t play! (NOT DONE)
3) Look good running the ball:Impossible to gauge with so many different players touching the ball, who won’t be touching it much when the games count. (NOT DONE)
4) Generate some pass rush up the gut: The line did a much better job of collapsing the pocket and clogging up the lanes, which allowed us to record 4 sacks on the night. (DONE)
Yet again we end with a score of 1 out of 4, which brings our preseason tally to 2 of 8. Next week the Baltimore Ravens run into the Linc, and we get to watch their QB move his lips as he tries to read our Defense. Should be fun!
On The Whole:
What is there to say? Three weeks from now, most of the sacrificial lambs who played that game, will be working in a call center, or learning how to operate a forklift. That’s not knocking honest, decent work. (I’ve done both of those myself.) However, we came out of that game with no additional information about the players who will impact the season. Particularly those new to the team.
It was a sloppy, entertaining exhibition, but on the whole it left me as a fan, more worried about this team, than I’ve been since Chip Kellywent 10 – 6 in his first year. That 10 – 6 record was built on an unsustainable model. While many fans were seduced by the immediate gratification of a playoff berth, I saw the cracks in the dam. I warned you about the flood. Well, now I see cracks again.
In a year where the Dallas Cowboys are undermining themselves and trying to hand us the NFC East, we seem intent on undermining ourselves and making sure they keep it.
LAST week’s preseason game was a chance to learn, and to grow, and to experiment. We were handed an opportunity, and we just (smh) chucked it out a window. I picture a closed door, the smell of mary-joowanna, loud giggling, and Head Coach Doug Pederson inside saying “Let’s bench everybody! Like everybody, everybody. Will the coach let us do that? Oh shit. We’re like the same guy. Yeah. Tell him that we’re benching everybody”.
With any luck, MJ
won’t show up this week.
This week. It’s just preseason. It doesn’t count. The point is studying. Yadda-blah yadda-blah. Have I said all the necessary boilerplate? Good.
Remember when this guy was OUR Opening Day starter?
This game will feature a duel between QB Carson Wentz and QB Nick Foles. They will both likely play less than a quarter, and will be running vanilla versions of their respective offensive systems.
While neither played in their team’s opener, both teams will feel a need to rebound after poor showings as the Eagles lost 10 – 27 to the Tennessee Titans, and the Jags got absolutely shit-canned 0 – 29 by the Baltimore Ravens. (Seriously. They got blown out by a team that can’t even score points.)
Of the Four Things we need to focus on, three are from last week, because we didn’t even attempt them, so we still need to see how they shake out.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Jaguars.
1) Starters need to play a quarter:One quarter, that’s it. We need a few looks at how some of the new guys (DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, MLB Zach Brown) are meshing. While we don’t want to overwork those guys, we need a large enough sample size to be able to say “Okay, X has got this” or “X needs to work on such and such”.
2) Go deep to Djax:Not too much this week. One shot over 30 yards should be good. The idea is to test the chemistry between Djax and QB Carson Wentz. If there are any bugs in their timing, now is the best time to throw interceptions. Also, the longer we wait to “unveil the weapon”, the more pressure there will be for it to work, when people first see it. Get the ‘Oooh Ahhh Ohhh’s’ out of the way early.
3) Look good running the ball:Despite all the buzz about rookie RB Miles Sanders, the guy we need to have a big year is RB Jordan Howard. Finishing with a stat-line of (5 – 20 – 4.0 – 0 – 0) with a 10 yard run somewhere in there, would be a solid indicator that we’re better off now, than we were during the playoffs.
4) Generate some pass rush up the gut: DT’s getting turned parallel to the line of scrimmage has to stop. And ( Yo Malik!), it has to stop, THIS WEEK. We can’t have another week of QB’s standing flat-footed and delivering strikes.
If we do all these things, we’re just about guaranteed to win. Ignore that. This is still a classroom. Now that we’ve covered what should happen, let’s get into what likely will happen:
Everybody important will be on a pitch count, so it’s too early to forecast which player to watch out for, or who might have a breakout day. Thus, like last week, this week and likely the next two of these, I will keep things really really general. I hate it more than you do, but that’s part in parcel of these next four weeks.
The Snow Bowl
Neither team played their starting QB last week, and so now a rush has to be put on getting both offenses to gel. This puts both of these teams on the same clock, and makes them easier for me to read in advance.
Since the starters on both teams likely won’t log a down in PsG4, this game will serve as the measuring stick, and then PsG3 will be the dress rehearsal. So expect a little razzle dazzle mixed into both game plans. Less for winning’s sake, and more just to energize the psyche of the rosters. However, when the starting QB’s come out, expect the game to slow to an ugly crawl.
The Jags have homefield advantage, but the Eagles have the more polished roster, with more dangerous players on offense. Seriously, the Jags added WR’s Chris Conley and Terrelle Pryor to bolster their receiving corps. Yes. That, Terrelle Pryor. Him. They’re giving him actual money to catch passes. So we should win this one. The wins don’t count, but if we lose to these pussycats, I’ll dust off my panic button. I won’t press it yet, but I’ll get out of storage with my Chip Kellymemes.
HAVING QB Nate Sudfeldas the back-up to Carson Wentz, isn’t risky! In fact, it’s a very smart move for the Front Office to have made. For someone to write that it’s “risky” because he isn’t a more veteran presence, is an almost stunning display of ignorance and lack of foresight. These rogue writers better back-up off my QB!
Sorry, I started out ranting. Let me take a step back and explain. I read a ton of Eagles articles in the course of doing research for my articles, in order to make sure that when I write it, you can quote it, and rest assured that you’re 100% correct. Yesterday I read an article that said that the Eagles going with Sudfeld, instead of more veteran QB’s like Tyrod Taylor or Ryan Fitzpatrick, was a risky move.
Now normally when I read something I disagree with, I shrug and go to the next thing. So naturally I attempted the same thing yesterday. However, the longer the day got, the more it crept into my thoughts. Not just because I oppose it philosophically, but because it is fundamentally wrong. Not just incorrect, but downright WRONG.
First of all, Nate has been here for two years and is familiar with the coaches, players, playbook, and core concepts of the Offensive system. He already has a firm grasp of everything, so there is no internal learning curve for him. If he finds himself pressed into playing, during film study and meetings, he can focus on learning the opponent. He’s at a point in his career where all of his learning can be external.
Bringing in a veteran, free agent QB, means teaching them a new system, new players, yada-blah, and etcetera. That of course doesn’t take into account whether the new player fits the team culture.
Sudfeld is already a fucking Yahtzee. So why re-roll? Plus he’s a young player that the Eagles can develop. That development is important, because with all the young QB’s drafted in the last few years, Sudfeld likely won’t have many, (if any) starting opportunities come his way. Especially if Wentz stays healthier than he’s been over the last two seasons, and so Sudfeld can’t showcase his skills.
Being a career back-up is no young player’s dream. However, the idea of having longevity in a game they love, and getting to belong to, and contribute to, an era of success over a decade or so… That’s nothing to sneeze at. For the Eagles organization, that level of stability is also nothing to sneeze at.
I was trying to write this article without bringing up QB Nick Foles, but even 852 miles away, he’s still the elephant in the room. This needs to be addressed so that we can forever gain some perspective, and not base our view of the past on a mythology that seems to be spreading.
Part of the reason that article said we need a more veteran QB, is because that’s what Foles was. Foles was a back-up who had once been a starter. He was battle-tested. He’d played a playoff game. He was qualified to start. Hell, his seven TD game is still an NFL All-Time record (tied with QB Peyton Manning). Foles uniform from that game is ALREADY in Canton. Foles went on to become a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. So apparently this is the formula, right?
Wrong. First of all, if your back-up is in, people generally expect less success. When Wentz went down, plenty of Eagles fans expressed serious doubts about Foles. No one cops to it NOW, but it was a real thing back during Weeks 15 – 17 in 2017.
Should Wentz go down again, judging Sudfeld against Foles 2017 season is straight bullshit. If there’s a free agent QB out there who can keep a team in the hunt for a Lombardi, then why the fuck isn’t he starting?! Why is he a free agent?
Foles isn’t the standard, he’s the exception. He had a great run in late 2017, but basing our hunts for future back-ups on the 2017 season, is sheer madness. It’s unadulterated farce. Meanwhile, we have a great situation with Nate Sudfeld, right now. It’s important that we as Eagles fans recognize that, and don’t let these rogue writers promote the idea of the exceptional as the enemy of the good.
LETTING QB Nick Foles become a Free Agent isn’t a good thing. It’s a great thing. This is the only smart move the Eagles could have made, and as a fan, I’m stoked that they saw that. Besides, this just made it easier for us to bring Foles back, at a price we can live with, for years.
Six days ago I said we should let him become a FA, then make him an offer of 50M over 5 years, with 30 guaranteed over 3. (Here’s that article) I still say we should float that out to him. If he bites, awesome. As I said, we’d have him at an affordable price until he retires. If he doesn’t, then he goes to a team that he can lead for a couple of years.
Either way, we don’t get saddled with a tag we can’t afford, on a QB we then couldn’t trade.
Foles was due 20M that we were never going to pay him in 2019. So he “bought his freedom” (yikes) for 2M, which allowed him to become a FA if he wished. This left the Eagles with the option to tag him for around 25M. That sets up a tag and trade situation, right? Right?! Wrong.
If the Eagles had already indicated that we wouldn’t shell out 20M, then why would we shell out 25? Every GM in the NFL with two brain cells to rub together, would realize that it’s just a matter of time before we had to cut Foles, at which point they could go after him for free, without having to give us anything in a trade. They could just wait us out.
In my sickest fantasy, we would have packaged our 1st rounder and Foles, in a trade to Jacksonville to move up from 25th to 7th , and get maybe a 4th or 5th rounder to boot. However, after the trade of QB Joe Flacco from Baltimore to Denver, it seemed that the market for trades had been set, and that it was a buyer’s, not a seller’s market.
That meant the Eagles would have no leverage in trying to move Foles. This is why I wrote last week, about just keeping him. Foles is more valuable as an Eagles player, than as an Eagles bargaining chip. Also, for a man of faith who says that where he plays matters, the Eagles are more valuable to Foles as well.
But…Let’s play Devil’s Advocate. Despite him being 30 already, let’s look at where Foles could get a shot to be “The Man”:
1) Jacksonville:They’re a team that’s built to win now. The question is whether or not Foles fits in, with what can be an very up and down locker room, that isn’t known for handling adversity well. If they don’t get off to a good start, Foles might wish he never left Philly.
2) Washington: The organization is a shit show from top to bottom. The owner is an idiot. The head coach was 21 – 26 – 1 and he was given a two year extension in 2017. Since then, he’s 14 – 18, which brings him to 35 – 44 – 1 (.444) for his career. The weapons are mediocre. There is no standard for excellence there. Foles would be a fool to sign there. At least without a Kirk Cousins type deal. Which would be so ironic, it might kill me from laughter.
3) Arizona: Rumor has the Cardinals trading away their young QB, which means they’d need a signal caller. Foles played college ball out there in Arizona and most of his family is still in Texas, where he was born and raised. He’d get to play with RB David Johnson, and whatever is left of WR Larry Fitzgerald. Aside from that, he’d have to live with water drought, playoff drought, scoring drought, an offensive line that’s allowed 104 sacks over the last two years… Arizona is in rebuild mode. Foles would need a concussion to decide to sign here.
Basically comes down to if Foles is serious about being part of great team, or whether or not he wants to make a final cash grab. Is he willing to tarnish his legacy by starting for a mediocre team? We shall soon find out.
FRANCHISE Tag? Transition Tag? Tag him and trade him? Tag you’re it? Chatter right now is about whether or not the Eagles will tag and trade, QB Nick Foles.
There’s growing speculation that they Eagles won’t, because if they can’t trade him, we’re stuck paying him roughly 25M$ to be a back-up, due to the tag. Growing speculation is that the Eagles can’t afford that gamble, and so may have to let Foles walk as a Free Agent, free and clear.
That means all interested teams have to do, is sit and wait us out.
The problem is in the form of trade partners. There are teams who have established QB, who aren’t going anywhere in 2019:
PHI – Carson Wentz
NYG – Eli Manning
DAL – Dak Prescott
MIN – Kirk Cousins
GB – Aaron Rogers
DET – Matt Stafford
CHI – Mitch Trubisky
NO – Drew Brees
ATL – Matt Ryan
CAR – Cam Newton
TB – Jameis Winston
SF – Jimmy Garafolo
SEA – Russell Wilson
LAR – Jared Goff
NE – Tom Brady
PIT – Ben Roethlisberger
BAL – Lamar Jackson
CLE – Baker Mayfield (I got halfway through typing Johnny Manziel)
CIN – Andy Dalton
IND – Andrew Luck
TEN – Marcus Mariota
HOU – Deshaun Watson
KC – Pat Mahomes
LAC – Phillip Rivers
That’s 24 of 32 teams that wouldn’t gamble what they have for a shot a Foles. The remaining eight:
WAS – Is still waiting for an updated timetable for Alex Smith’s rehab.
ARI – Drafted Josh Rosen last year. Speculation is that Rosen could end up in NE, which would open up a possible landing spot for Foles near the place where he played college ball.
NYJ – Are content to let Sam Darnold continue his on the job training.
BUF – Josh Allen had a bad rookie year, but he was last year’s #7 overall pick, so the Bills can’t give up on him this soon.
MIA – Does Ryan Tannehill get another year? Do they draft a QB? No one has a clue what’s going on with the Fins.
JAC – Blake Bortles bags are packed and sitting by the door. While this team could draft a passer, they’re built to win now, and so would best be served by an experienced hand with playoff pedigree.
OAK – Derek Carr is the guy. The only reason he’s in this group and not the other, is the unpredictability of the Raiders Front Office.
DEN – Just traded for what’s left of Joe Flacco.
Of that group, only Washington, Arizona, and Jacksonville really seem to be in the market for a QB. Which poses a problem for the Eagles, when it comes to trying to trade Foles. Fewer possible trade partners, means we have less leverage to uh…incentivize teams to give us something juicy for Foles.
However, a choked market also means it will be harder for Foles as a FA. If few spots want to add a starter, he could just end up a back-up elsewhere. That is unless he wants to start for Washington or Arizona, two programs currently in turmoil. Dysfunction almost made him retire once. Jacksonville seems like the best fit, but we shouldn’t just let them grab him. Right?
Hey! Here’s a crazy thought. What if we kept him? He’s frequently said that he loves it here. He’s also said that who he plays with, and the environment he plays in, matters to him. So why not put that to the test? He wants to play FA, okay. Offer him 50M$ over 5 years, with 3 of those years guaranteed.
Aside from the current Joe Flacco (18M) / Case Keenum (21M) situation in Denver, there is no back-up in football approaching 10M per year. None. Done this way, Foles gets to stay in a place he loves, in a system that plays to his strengths, as he soaks up crazy bench fees, while staying pretty healthy to boot. And if we do need him to step in here or there, his coaches, teammates, and even he himself, has no jitters about what to expect.
He is the ultimate insurance policy for THIS CITY, and he should, and could be paid like it.
This literally settles everything, and makes a deep strike at making sure that Nick Foles never wears another teams colors, ever again.