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Report: Eagles turned down offer to trade Nick Foles to Browns for second-round pick

A magical playoff run made Nick Foles a desirable commodity. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

By performing well in the postseason, leading the Eagles to a championship and winning Super Bowl MVP honors, Nick Foles turned himself into a desirable commodity, especially in an NFL landscape perpetually short of reliable quarterbacks. In turn, Philadelphia has been reported to be demanding a very high price for Foles in possible trades, and Tuesday brought news that the team even turned down the No. 35 pick in this year’s draft.

That’s according to NFL.com’s Michael Silver, who reported the Browns made that offer of a high second-rounder “shortly before the start of the league year.” That would have been around the time that word began emerging that the Eagles were looking for at least a first- and a fourth-round pick for Foles, although they were not thought to be “actively” shopping the quarterback.

Assuming Silver’s reporting is accurate, it would appear that Philadelphia was sticking to its guns on its price for Foles, even when presented with what figured to have been a very attractive offer, considering the 35th pick fell barely after the first round was complete. In addition, Foles is slated to return to backup duties, if Carson Wentz can complete his recovery from torn knee ligaments in time for the start of the season.

For his part, Foles was also opposed to the trade, per Silver, who wrote that the seventh-year player “preferred to remain in Philadelphia.” As noted in the report, the Eagles wound up reworking Foles’s contract in April, giving him more money — possibly much more if he hits incentives related to playing time and statistical bench marks — and creating ways for either side to get out of the deal after this season.

The new contract actually makes Foles easier for the Eagles to trade after June 1, from a salary-cap standpoint, and the team could still do so at any time before the NFL’s deadline on Oct. 30. Philadelphia is likely happy to take some more time to see if Wentz does come back at full strength, as well as to see if a better offer for Foles comes along, as happened in 2016, when the Eagles dealt Sam Bradford to the Vikings for first- and fourth-round picks, after Minnesota lost Teddy Bridgewater to injury just before the season.

The Browns, meanwhile, wasted little time going to Plan B, trading a third-round pick in early March to the Bills for quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Cleveland then opted for Oklahoma star Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in the draft, using the 35th pick on Georgia running back Nick Chubb.

As several observers pointed out Tuesday in the wake of Silver’s report, the Browns offered a higher pick for Foles than the 43rd overall selection the 49ers gave the Patriots last year for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who played well in San Francisco and was rewarded with a five-year, $137.5 million contract. The Eagles, though, learned the value last season of a highly skilled backup quarterback, and Foles wouldn’t be the first player to balk at a chance to join the Browns.

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