- The Philadelphia Eagles once again find themselves in the midst of a miraculous playoff run thanks to backup quarterback Nick Foles.
- Foles’ winning ways leave the Eagles with a difficult decision in the coming offseason, depending on how badly they want to keep him with the franchise.
- While it looks like Foles is likely to leave for another team, with every win, it becomes more difficult to imagine him playing somewhere else.
For the second straight year, the Philadelphia Eagles have turned to backup quarterback Nick Foles in search of a miracle, and so far, he has again answered the call.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP has been a boon for the Eagles. He helped the team to its first Lombardi Trophy last season and then brought the Birds back from the brink with a wild run to end the 2018 season and keep their hopes of a Super Bowl repeat alive.
After the Eagles’ “Double-Doink” heard ’round the world in the Wild Card round, it’s tough to bet against Foles and his seemingly magical ability to conjure wins for Philadelphia. It’s a thrill for Eagles fans, but as it continues, it makes his looming free agency an issue for the team’s front office.
Whenever the Eagles run through the 2019 postseason ends – be it this Sunday against the Saints or with another Super Bowl victory – Nick Foles will be one of the most sought-after quarterbacks of the coming offseason.
It’s not a guarantee that Foles will leave Philadelphia, but his mutual option for next year is for $US20 million and would need both sides of the deal to sign on for it to take effect. Since Foles would likely garner more money and a much longer deal on the open market, there’s a good chance that he would decline the option even if the Eagles extended it – a move that would cost him his $US2 million signing bonus, but potentially net him much more money in the long run.
There’s also the possibility that the Eagles use the franchise tag on Foles. The move would make his contract for next season worth about $US25 million, but since Carson Wentz is still on his rookie deal, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The franchise tag could also be used to ensure that the Eagles get value back for Foles, with the team securing his rights for next season and then moving him away to the highest bidder.
Then, there’s the outside chance that the Eagles pitch Foles on remaining in Philadelphia as a backup. Foles has been open about how much he loves the team, and it’s possible that a creative contract, which paid Foles handsomely and was loaded with further incentives and bonuses for starts down the road, could be enough to entice him to stay in Philly.
Foles already nearly retired from football once, and there’s a chance that chasing a big-money contract with the Jaguars or Dolphins isn’t exactly how a man who almost willingly left the league to become a pastor wants to spend the final chapters of his NFL career. A deal that makes both sides happy is indeed a longshot, but so was last year’s Super Bowl run.
Then, there is the wildest potential outcome – another Lombardi Trophy.
While there’s no doubt that general manager Howie Roseman and company would love for Foles to lead the team on another miraculous run to the Super Bowl, it could potentially create a quarterback controversy that puts the franchise at a definite fork in the road.
Even with Foles’ recent winning streak, Wentz has still been seen as the undeniable future of the franchise, and rightfully so – he is just 26 years old and was an MVP candidate through 14 weeks of football last season. But if Foles were to do the impossible and bring yet another Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia, does that thinking begin to change?
In the Eagles locker room, Foles is already something of a deity, with players building shrines of worship to their holy backup with hopes he will once again lead them to the promised land. If he does, it’s tough to imagine the Eagles allowing a two-time reigning Super Bowl champion walk into free agency.
It’s a future too far off to consider, and should it come to fruition, there’s no doubt it’s a reality that the Eagles front office would happily deal with if it meant Philadelphia was the first back-to-back Super Bowl champions since the ’03-’04 Patriots.
The Eagles only focus right now is on beating the Saints. If they succeed on Sunday, the focus shifts to one more win, then one more win. But whether they fall in New Orleans this week or wind up on another wild run that ends in confetti, some big questions are coming to Philadelphia and a lack of any clear answers.
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