Nick Foles is your reigning Super Bowl MVP. Let that sentence sink in for a second before we sit back and claim no team will be willing to give up a whole lot for his services.
Foles outplayed five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady in the biggest game of his career, completing 28-of-43 passes for 373 yards with four total touchdowns en route to a 41-33 win. It was the culmination of the single greatest performances in NFL postseason history.
Now that this shocking win is behind Foles and he’s preparing to celebrate with the rest of Philadelphia on Wednesday, attention now turns to what the next step in his career might be. Foles is under contract with the Eagles for next season. But barring some major philosophical shift within the organization, Carson Wentz will retake the starting job once he returns to complete health, and Philly is reportedly open to trading him.
Here are the six likeliest landing spots and scenarios for Nick Foles this offseason.
1. Cleveland Browns
With a cap hit of just $7.6 million next season, Foles is a cheaper option for a team looking to find a reliable signal caller under center. In Cleveland, that couldn’t come soon enough after 20 years of futility at this position. And fortunately for fans of the factory of sadness, Cleveland boasts more ammo to acquire someone of Foles’ ilk than any other team in the NFL.
Fresh off just the second winless 16-game season in NFL history, the Browns have two of the first four picks in April’s draft. They also boast three second-round picks. We have no real idea how much value Foles will get Philadelphia on the trade market, but something similar to what Washington yielded for Alex Smith makes sense here. If Cleveland can offer up one of its second-round picks, that would technically be equal value.
With the likes of DeShone Kizer, Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler acting as the quarterbacks for this squad right now, adding someone of Foles’ ilk would be a no-brainer. It would also enable the Browns to use one of their two first-round picks on a quarterback.
2. Denver Broncos
It seems increasingly unlikely that GM John Elway is going to admit a mistake by selecting a quarterback with the fifth pick in April’s draft. He is in no way prepared to say that the Paxton Lynch trial didn’t work out. That’s why Denver has been linked more to Kirk Cousins than a rookie quarterback. It’s also why the Broncos reportedly offered up Aqib Talib and a pick to Kansas City for the above-mentioned Alex Smith (more on that here).
In acquiring Foles, Elway would be able to safe face. It wouldn’t cost the Broncos their first-round pick, and would surely act as an upgrade over the three quarterbacks this team threw out there during a disastrous last-place 2017 campaign. Just some food for thought.
3. Buffalo Bills
The Tyrod Taylor era in Western New York likely came to a screeching halt following Buffalo’s AFC Wildcard Playoff loss to Jacksonville. Unless head coach Sean McDermott is willing to rely on Nathan Peterman next season, Buffalo will now be looking to add a quarterback of the present and the future during the offseason.
With two first-round picks, it makes sense for the Bills to look at the draft as a real option here. Though, both picks come in the early 20s. Short of the team trading up, none of the top-tier signal callers will be available. That makes it increasingly likely that Buffalo will look at the veteran route.
Interestingly enough, the Bills and Eagles have a recent history. Prior to the start of the 2017 season, the two worked out a deal that sent Jordan Matthews and change to Buffalo for Ronald Darby. It’s pretty darn likely the two teams will talk trade here in the not-so-distant future.
4. Arizona Cardinals
The last time Arizona traded for a Philadelphia backup, it didn’t go too swimmingly. It came prior to the 2011 season, with the Cardinals adding Kevin Kolb in exchange for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick. Kolb started all of 14 games in two seasons in the desert.
This might make some Cardinals fans weary of revisiting the Eagles’ backup quarterback situation. But it’s a whole lot different. Kolb had exactly seven games of starting experience before Arizona acquired him. He most definitely didn’t boast the recent track record we’ve seen from Foles.
In the past, Arizona has refused to bite the bullet by adding a young quarterback early in the draft. The additions of Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer are prime examples of this. Now that Palmer has retired, it’s a necessity for the Cards to add a qualified signal caller. In fact, the potential return of Larry Fitzgerald for another season could rely on that small detail. Moving a third-round pick and a player to Philadelphia for Foles would keep Arizona in playoff contention. It also wouldn’t necessarily rule out adding a quarterback in either the first or second round of April’s draft.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
The reigning Super Bowl MVP heading to Jacksonville to compete with Blake Bortles for a starting job. It really is the ideal scenario for this up-and-coming team. Sure the Jags have apparently committed to Bortles as the starter next season. But that doesn’t mean Tom Coughlin and Co. are not looking at other options. With Bortles set to earn $19 million next season, Jacksonville can take on Foles’ contract and not think twice about it.
With one of the most-talented rosters in football, the Jaguars could easily exhaust a couple mid-round picks to bring in a potential heir apparent to Bortles, who is set to become a free agent after the 2018 season. It’s surely a better idea than exhausting a first or second-round pick on an unproven commodity.
6. Philadelphia Eagles
The defending champs now have a major decision to make. It’s not gong to include the team somehow deciding Foles is the long-term answer at quarterback over Carson Wentz. But it’s also not a certainty Wentz will return in time for the 2018 season.
A report over the weekend noted that he suffered a torn LCL in addition to tearing his ACL back in Week 14. That could delay a return to the field. If this is the case, Philadelphia is going to have to think long and hard about retaining Foles.
Winning the Super Bowl with Foles under center was absolutely huge for the Eagles. But it could also have some wide-ranging ramifications this offseason. Will Foles want to return as a backup after earning the game’s highest MVP honor? If not, how will he play this behind the scenes? In reality, the Eagles can offer up a raise to the quarterback with hopes that he would be okay returning to the team. It’s a long shot. But with Wentz’s availability for the start of the 2018 season in question, the Eagles will have to consider this.