Tom Coughlin and the Jacksonville Jaguars have been linked to former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles more than any other team in recent weeks.
Given that Jacksonville is in need of a quarterback with the likely departure of Blake Bortles, that makes a ton of sense. At issue here is the fact that Foles’ current Philadelphia Eagles team might look to franchise him as a way to acquire draft picks in return.
According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, the Jaguars may be reluctant to hand over draft picks in a trade for Foles while offering him fair-market value on a new contract.
The #Jaguars make a lot of sense as a landing spot for Nick Foles in free agency, but would they trade for him? The way they’re constructed suggests they may wait this out. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/CI6a3OJqEj
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 19, 2019
There’s definitely a few things that stand out here.
Jacksonville is currently over the cap: Paying Foles fair-market value is an expensive proposition in the first place.
- The Jaguars will save multiples of millions when they decide to officially move on from Blake Bortles, among others. Even then, this team is not in a great cap position.
- In fact, non-skill players A.J. Bouye, Andrew Norwell and Calais Campbell are set to count a combined $45 million against the cap in 2019.
- The Jaguars will save nearly $30 million by releasing Bortles, Malik Jackson and potentially even Marcell Dareus.
Cash and picks make it expensive: Foles is set to earn $25-plus million on a new deal.
- If Foles is franchised, that will pay him well north of $25 million in 2019. Any longer-term deal would have to start off there.
- The Eagles are said to be demanding a third-round pick in return for the quarterback. Is giving up a valuable mid-rounder while paying Foles top-flight money justifiable from the organization’s standpoint? We’re not too sure.
There promises to be other suitors for Foles the closer we get to the start of free agency next month. But the market appears to be slow given his likely salary and the Eagles’ demands in a trade.
Whether that means the Jaguars are out remains to be seen. It’s too early. But early push back against the idea of giving Philadelphia draft capital seems to suggest VP Tom Coughlin and Co. are cooling on the idea.