Nick Foles stepped in for MVP candidate Carson Wentz when he went down with a torn ACL in a Week 14 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Ironically, that’s one of Foles’ former teams along with the Kansas City Chiefs. The head coach at Arrowhead Stadium, Andy Reid, is the sole reason why we saw Nick Foles playing football and ultimately becoming the MVP of Super Bowl LII. Foles stated on several occasions that he contemplated retirement a couple of years ago and added that the only coach he’d play for is Andy Reid. Foles backed up Alex Smith in Kansas City before returning to the Philadelphia Eagles where he felt comfortable, especially with his former quarterback coach/offensive coordinator Doug Pederson running the show.
Now the question becomes, where will Nick Foles play in the 2018 season after having a stellar performance throughout the playoffs?
Well, we do have a lot of very good to great quarterbacks in the NFL who are locked into long-term contracts. We just saw Jimmy Garoppolo sign a record-breaking deal for five years worth $137.5 million with the 49ers. And that’s only after starting seven games in his career with New England and his new team in San Francisco. Kirk Cousins is also looking for a new NFL home after Alex Smith was traded from the Chiefs to the Redskins to pave the way for upcoming sophomore Patrick Mahomes. It appears both Foles and Cousins will be the hot commodities during the offseason.
Let’s concentrate on the Super Bowl MVP for now and take a look at some potential landing spots for Foles and assess which team would be the best fit for him. One thing we must keep in my mind is that Foles is still under contract with the Eagles and is slated to make roughly $7 million next season. The Eagles may not want to trade him given the health of Carson Wentz and Foles’ capability to step in and get the job done. Then again, $7 million is a lot to swallow for a backup quarterback. So, I believe in order to get Foles, a team with interest would probably offer something like a second and fourth round pick. I doubt the Eagles will receive any offers for a first-round selection but if a team is desperate enough it could happen! So here are the top teams that may be interested in Nick Foles’ service.
New York Jets: Gang Green has a pretty decent team and the players go all out for Head Coach Todd Bowles. Even though Josh McCown has done a pretty good job as the Jets starting quarterback, he’s not the guy that can lead a team to the promised land. Not to mention the fact that McCown is 38 years old whereas Foles is only 29 and has plenty of good years ahead of him. The Jets have tried and failed drafting quarterbacks over the past few seasons. Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty simply haven’t shown signs of promise. The Jets have some good offensive weapons for Foles to work with. We know he can play in cold weather and under pressure after spending time in Philly. And we’ve seen over the past few days how crazy the Philly fans are! New York football fans share the same passion for their team and luckily Foles has proven he can play under pressure.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills quarterback situation is iffy at best! Tyrod Taylor is a good player but he doesn’t possess the ability to move his offense down the field consistently. If not for LeSean McCoy, Buffalo may have only averaged 10 points a game. Nathan Peterman is the other option to take the snaps under center but is his first two performances were pretty bad. In his two starts for the Bills, Peterman threw two touchdowns and five interceptions. He only notched 252 passing yards combined and his completion rate was below 50 percent. Buffalo has a very good defense that stays on the field way too long during the course of the game. They need a signal caller who can create drives down the field and put points on the board. Foles would be a nice fit in Buffalo!
Cleveland Browns: I don’t think DeShone Kizer has what it takes to be a starting NFL quarterback. At least not yet! Yes, he’s young and there’s plenty of room for growth. However, Kizer threw twice as many picks (22) than touchdowns (11) and also fumbled the ball nine times. That’s just too many turnovers! I’ve seen glimpses where the Browns young signal caller has opened my eyes. Yet, one eye-popping play doesn’t make up for the mess he creates throughout the game. Backups Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler don’t appear to be the answer for the Browns either. Let’s not forget that Cleveland became the second team in league history to go 0-16 in the regular season. Therefore it’s not just the quarterback that’s the problem. The Browns have gaps all over their offense and defense. The players love their head coach and play passionate football for Hue Jackson. That says a lot about the lack of talent on the roster. Even though the players give it 100 percent, their skill set isn’t comparable to most NFL teams. Unless the Browns give up at least their second-round pick and offer Foles $20 million a year, I highly doubt he’ll land in Cleveland.
Jacksonville Jaguars: This is an interesting possibility. The Jags surprised the football universe by riding one of the best defenses in the league to the AFC Championship game. Blake Bortles actually played pretty well during the postseason. Is the third overall pick from the 2014 NFL draft finally coming into his own? Nobody knows that better than the staff in Jacksonville. If they believe Bortles is, in fact, starting to reach his peak then they’ll hold on to him. However, after four seasons as a pro, he hasn’t shown any signs of improvement. The Jaguars were mere minutes away from reaching the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. The Jags front office is certainly wondering if they had Nick Foles under center, would they have advanced to the title match! If they believe Foles can put the team over the top then they’ll make a move for him. Foles would likely improve Jacksonville’s offense and average more points per game. Since the Jaguars defense is completely solidified, young, talented and hungry, I do think that Nick Foles would come in and be an immediate leader and someone the players will have confidence in given his 2017 playoff run.
Denver Broncos: This may be the best spot for Foles to land. The AFC West division is getting weaker. The Raiders are way too inconsistent, the Chiefs are starting over with Patrick Mahomes and the Chargers are always hit or miss. And they miss more often than not. Foles would have the luxury of throwing the ball to two top receivers in the league. Both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are outstanding wideouts and Foles has the arm and accuracy to get them the ball in space. Even if Denver loses Sanders, the Broncos still have some good young talent at WR that Foles can connect with and develop a rapport during training camp. We know the Broncos have a very good defense. If they weren’t on the field for the better part of every game then I’m sure Von Miller’s defense would be much more effective. Again, Foles can handle the cold weather and has regained confidence in his ability as a professional quarterback. Denver is a solid football team that just needs a leader taking the snaps with playoff experience. Mr. John Elway…you may want to give the Eagles a call!
Arizona Cardinals: Now this is a team that desperately needs a legit starting quarterback. Especially because their NFC West rivals have solidified their QB position and they could all be contenders next season. Carson Palmer has retired after 15 years in the NFL and we saw what happened to the Cards after Palmer went down. Not to mention a potential MVP and one of the best players in the league, David Johnson dislocated his wrist in the season opener. Arizona started behind the eight ball from the get-go! Perhaps if the Cardinals had better quarterback play then they could have overcome Johnson’s injury and made a playoff run. But back up QB’s Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert weren’t up to the task. I doubt Arizona is content with their quarterback situation when you include Matt Barkley in the mix as well. With David Johnson coming back in 2018, a few good to great receivers and a stellar defense, it only makes sense that Arizona would take a shot at trading for Nick Foles. Former head coach, Bruce Arians has “retired” from coaching and is known as a quarterback whisperer. New head coach Steve Wilks is a defensive minded coach who led the Carolina Panthers D to becoming one of the top defenses in the league. Perhaps he will do the same in Arizona but even a defensive coach knows you need a solid quarterback to win in the NFL. I expect the Cards to grab either Foles or Cousins and put themselves back in playoff contention.
Philadelphia Eagles: At the moment Nick Foles is still under contract with Philly. Like I said before, it will take a serious offer to pry Foles away from the Eagles. This is a tough decision to make for Philadelphia’s front office! They could keep perhaps the best back up quarterback in the NFL who could start for a bunch of teams in the league. We’re talking about a Super Bowl MVP who is playing at the top of his game. However, there is no question that Carson Wentz is the future franchise QB for the Eagles. If Philly decides to hold onto Nick Foles it will cost them $7 million against the salary cap. That’s a lot of money to pay someone who may not see the field all season except from the sideline. What if Wentz isn’t ready to go by the start of the 2018 season? This is something the Eagles won’t know for sure for at least another couple of months. We see setbacks all the time. Just look at Andrew Luck in Indianapolis! So this is a true risk/reward situation for the Eagles decision makers where on one hand they’d have basically two starting quarterbacks on their roster and if Wentz isn’t ready they know they’ll be in good hands with Foles. Then again, the Eagles may not be able to resist a solid trade offer that can help their team become even more well rounded. The Eagles hold the last pick in the 2018 NFL draft and don’t have a second-round pick due to trading up for Wentz last year. They could use the picks and/or a player or two to contribute to the team as the Eagles are looking to become the next dynasty in the NFL.
So which team is the best fit for Foles besides Philadelphia? I’d say the top two teams that could use Nick Foles’ services are the Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos. If the Super Bowl MVP can play like he did during the post season then he could put either organization over the top. The Broncos may be the best team on this list that’s a quarterback away from becoming division champs again! I’m not saying Foles is a top 10 quarterback in the NFL. And I can’t be sure that he can continue playing at such a high level. However, Foles does have a pretty nice resume and given the championship performance he displayed in 2017, I think most teams believe that Foles is for real and worth trading for!