Eagles Won’t Put Franchise Tag on Foles 

Staff Writer: Alex Kelly 

General Manager, Howie Roseman, announces the Philadelphia Eagles will not place franchise tag on quarterback Nick Foles. “We’re going to let Nick Foles be a free agent,” Roseman said at the NFL scouting combine.  

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Nick Foles, who will become a free agent during the off-season. 
Photo Credit: nbcsports.com 

However, this wasn’t a one-sided decision. Foles, who has been playing as backup to quarterback Carson Wentz, has stated his primary objective was to find a team he could call his own and be a leader. After two very successful seasons, including a Super Bowl as well as Super Bowl MVP, Foles decided to opt out of his contact and pay back the Eagles two million dollars in February. Had the Eagles picked up on the franchise tag, they would’ve had compensation for Foles via trade, while also having a say on where he ends up.  

“I was surprised to see that the Eagles didn’t tag Foles. I thought after his two explosive seasons he would have high trade value, I don’t know though,” claimed Foroutan Gorgi, senior at Woodstock High School. 

At the end of the 2018 season, Foles stated, “I would love to lead a team. The starter thing, leading a team, impacting a locker room … that’s why we play the game, to impact people, to create an atmosphere.” 

Originally drafted by the Eagles in 2012, Foles was traded to the St. Louis Rams prior to the 2015 season. After a few up-and-down years in Philadelphia, and another difficult year in St. Louis, Foles contemplated retiring. However, he rejoined with Andy Reid as backup for the Kansas City Chiefs, and soon returned to the Eagles, in a similar role, in 2017. 

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Nick Foles with the St. Louis Rams during the 2015 season.  
Photo Credit: thecomeback.com 

“I’ve been with Foles since we drafted him. Even after his struggle I wanted to see him succeed. It’s a blessing we got him back,” says Woodstock senior and Eagles fanBrenden Foo.  

The signing received no attention at the time, but soon proved to be one of the most important signings in franchise history for the Eagles. It started with Foles taking over for the injured Carson Wentz towards the end of the 2017-2018 season and lead the team to its first Super Bowl title. To prove he was no fluke, Foles stepped up big last season as well. He helped the team win its last three games to reach the playoffs, and then lead them to a victory against the dominant Chicago Bears’ defense in the wild-card round. Upon losing to the Saints in the next round, Foles closed the 2018-2019 season with the sixth-best career postseason passer rating in NFL history of 98.8. 

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Foles after leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl over the Patriots. 
Photo Credit: bleacherreport.com 

“As a Bears fan, I hate Cody Parkey, but in all honesty, Foles tore us up piece by piece. He’s special, and he’ll have a great future,” states Carter Maczko, senior at Woodstock. 

With accolades like these, Foles is a big player in free agency. However, Foles’ potential market shrank after his most probable landing spot, the Denver Broncos, traded for former Baltimore Ravens starter Joe Flacco. One team with potential interest in Foles currently is the Jacksonville Jaguars, while no other teams have expressed great interest.  

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Joe Flacco, the quarterback traded to the Broncos, removing them from talks for Foles. 
Photo Credit: baltimoresun.com 

“I really thought Foles would end up in Denver. After Elway’s failure to find a quarterback with even slight talent, I thought he’d be smart enough to go for Foles, but he seems to be keeping the tradition of underwhelming quarterbacks,” argued Brennan Milone, senior at Woodstock. 

As for the Eagles, the only way they would’ve placed a tag on Foles was if they found a trading partner for him. Since the salary for quarterbacks under the franchise tag is $25 million, the Eagles could not have afforded to pay him that as a backup. They had initially planned to do a tag-and-trade with Foles, however the market didn’t develop for him. The Broncos were removed from the bubble when they traded for Flacco, the Giants and Raiders were involved in talks, but nothing ever materialized.  

The Eagles won’t be getting nothing for Foles however. They’ll likely get a compensatory pick in 2020 for losing Foles in free agency, projected to be a third-rounder. The only way for a tag-and-trade to make sense on the Eagles end was to receive a high draft pick in return. 

Roseman said that they were confident in Wentz being a leader to the team, however many people have doubts. Wentz has been injured in both the past two seasons, causing Foles to replace him twice down the stretch and in the playoffs.  

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Coach Pederson will enter the 2019 season with Wentz as his starter, and no Foles. 
Photo Credit: espn.com 

“Wentz will get hurt again. Now the Eagles don’t have good old Saint Nick to save them. I’d like to see who steps up in his place,” says Connor Ahrens, senior at Woodstock. 

As for the new backup, Roseman has said he’s confident in his third string quarterback, Nate Sudfeld, to step up and take the backup spot, but he must earn it. Along with Sudfeld, Case Keenum could be a potential target, assuming he leaves Denver after the signing of Flacco.  

The Eagles, however, could have trouble signing a potential quarterback. They currently have $1.7 million in salary-cap space currently. Wentz, who is expected to receive a big paycheck soon, will be making the cap space even smaller for the Eagles. There are ways for the Eagles to clear space though. They can trade players, release players, but will find a way to allocate resources for the most important position in football. 

Rejecting to use the franchise tag is beneficial for both Foles and the Eagles. Foles, who has now made a name for himself, could end up at a new team and potentially be the leader he’s always wanted. On the Eagles end, they might be losing an important piece to their team, but they’re confident in their starter and now have space and a little more money to develop their team. 

 

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