Given how many quarterback-needy NFL teams there are, how many of them would not want to acquire the reigning Super Bowl MVP? Some, in fact, have inquired about just that with the Philadelphia Eagles, but per reports Monday, it’ll cost them.
The Eagles are looking for at least a first- and a fourth-round pick for Nick Foles, according to both MMQB and ESPN. That’s the price the Vikings paid Philadelphia to get Sam Bradford just before the 2016 season began, following Teddy Bridgewater’s devastating knee injury, and the Eagles reportedly feel that Foles is an even more desirable commodity.
That opinion may not be widely shared, as FanRag Sports reported Monday that an AFC team had offered just a second-round pick, a bid made “earlier this offseason.” The Eagles may be able to drive the price up if, as ESPN claimed, they have “received multiple trade offers” for the 29-year-old quarterback.
ESPN also reported that Philadelphia has “not actively shopped Foles,” who stepped in for an injured Carson Wentz late in the season and helped lead the charge to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. The team, though, signaled last week during the NFL’s draft combine in Indianapolis that it would be willing to deal him, when Coach Doug Pederson said that Foles would be owed the courtesy of “a conversation” about a possible trade.
“I’m a big believer you don’t just blindside a player like that if that happens,” Pederson said. “I think you’ve got to have that open communication with them. We’ll see. We’ll see where it goes. Howie [Roseman, Philadelphia’s head of personnel] just mentioned we’d love to have everybody back. But we know the nature of the business.”
Foles turned himself into an attractive trade target during an impressive postseason in which he completed 72.6 percent of his passes for 971 yards, six touchdowns, one interception and a 115.7 rating. Those numbers are all better than his career statistics, which include a 60.1 completion percentage and an 87.4 rating over 49 appearances and 39 starts, so teams will have to take that discrepancy into account.
In addition to paying some sort of significant price to the Eagles in terms of draft picks, a team that acquires Foles would presumably need to work out a new contract for him, one that pays more than the five-year, $27.5 million deal he signed last year. Still, whatever money Foles would get would pale into comparison with the mammoth payday Kirk Cousins, the top quarterback on this year’s open market, is expected to receive.
Other free agent quarterbacks include Bradford, as well as both of his 2017 teammates in Minnesota, Case Keenum and Bridgewater. Keenum took over for an injured Bradford and authored his own eye-opening stretch as an unheralded backup, but he was decisively outplayed by Foles in the NFC championship game, while Bradford and Bridgewater come with major health issues.
Foles’s contract reportedly contains a clause in which the final three years void if he is still with the Eagles in mid-February 2019, meaning that the team has plenty of incentive to trade him before then. In that sense, his magical playoff run didn’t just pay off in the best way possible for the team, in terms of a long-awaited championship, but it made him a desirable player at a very opportune moment.
The only wrinkle for Philadelphia is that Wentz is still recovering from knee surgery, and there is some question about whether he will be available for Week 1. However, MMQB’s Peter King reported that the Eagles “continue to be confident” that Wentz will, in fact, be ready for the season opener, which in turn should embolden the team to sell as high as possible on Foles.
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