It was reported this weekend that the Chicago Bears might be looking to pull off a Nick Foles trade after signing fellow veteran quarterback Andy Dalton during NFL free agency.
Said report was not terribly surprising after the Bears made it clear Dalton would be their Week 1 starter under embattled head coach Matt Nagy next season.
Foles, 32, could be of interest to multiple teams as a potential top-end backup quarterback. While the former Super Bowl MVP is no longer starter-quality, he brings experience and past success. He also boasts a mere $6.6 million cap hit in 2021, a pretty decent number for someone of his quality. Below, we look at the five likeliest destinations for Foles.
In addition to reports indicating that Foles could be on the block, the Super Bowl winner is being linked to his former Eagles team. As crazy as it might sound, a third trip back to Philadelphia during his career would make sense for both Foles and the Eagles.
They are clearly in the market for a backup quarterback behind Jalen Hurts after trading Carson Wentz earlier in the offseason. With all of the veterans who have come off the market during the first several days of NFL free agency, Foles might be Philadelphia’s best option. The only complication here is that Philly boasts the worst cap situation in the league. It will have to make other moves in order for this to work out from a financial standpoint.
A Nick Foles trade to the Denver Broncos might in fact be the most-logical end result. Denver remains interested in Deshaun Watson despite the ongoing sexual assault scandal. If new general manager George Paton is unable or unwilling to acquire Watson, Foles becomes the next-best option.
Right now, it’s clear that Denver is willing to go into Week 1 with Drew Lock as its starting quarterback. Considering he tied for the league-lead interceptions with 15 a season ago, that’s not an ideal scenario. In the midst of an offseason that has seen them make win-now moves by adding cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller, the Broncos are going to want to add a capable veteran quarterback who can take over should Lock’s struggles continue in 2021.
San Francisco 49ers
At this point, it’s hard to tell what the 49ers’ thinking is behind the scenes. General manager John Lynch and Co. have put on a good public face when it comes to embattled starter Jimmy Garoppolo. However, it’s not a secret that San Francisco’s brass is looking for an upgrade. Most recently, one report suggested that the 49ers are still in on Deshaun Watson despite the severe allegations being levied against him.
The backdrop here is a less-than-stellar cap situation for the 49ers. Could that potentially lead to a Nick Foles trade on the cheap while restructuring Garoppolo’s contract? The idea would be for the two to compete for the starting job during training camp. Already linked to Joe Flacco, it’s not a stretch to say Foles would be a better option for the 49ers.
New York Jets
Speaking of the 49ers, new Jets head coach Robert Saleh has worked with general manager Joe Douglas to add top-end talent to New York’s fledgling roster. On offense, that includes the likes of wide receivers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole. Simply put, the Jets are doing their best to improve the skill positions.
There’s also an obvious secondary story here. New York will likely move off Sam Darnold in a trade ahead of next month’s NFL Draft. The idea would be to select BYU quarterback Zach Wilson No. 2 overall. If that were to come to fruition, Foles makes perfect sense as a stopgap option until Wilson proves he can take over under center.
New England Patriots
Imagine if we had told you three years ago that a Nick Foles trade to the Patriots could be in the cards. You’d likely have just ignored it as reckless speculation. Now years removed from besting Tom Brady and New England in Super Bowl LII, Foles actually makes sense for Bill Belichick’s squad.
New England just recently re-signed Cam Newton on a team-friendly one-year deal. He’s not earning anywhere near starting quarterback money. In lieu of the Pats trading up for someone like Justin Fields next month, it might make sense to bring Foles in to compete with Newton during training camp. It’s certainly something to consider.