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NFL insider says Nick Foles, Jaguars have “mutual interest”

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Worst kept secret?

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images

Bleeding Green Nation already looked at how the Joe Flacco trade potentially impacts Nick Foles but NFL insider Mike Garafolo recently had some more insight to share on NFL Network.

Q: How does this trade affect Foles’ market now?

GARAFOLO: Slightly. My understanding is that Denver had done a little bit of work on Nick Foles, but not a lot of work on Nick Foles. And now we know it’s because it was a fallback plan should the Joe Flacco situation not work out for them. So, I really didn’t see them as an aggressive [suitor]. So, now everybody’s making the connection to Jacksonville for Foles, and it’s an obvious one. And I do believe they are interested there, and there’s going to be mutual interest. And that’s the key. I mean, some of these other places that are going to open up for Nick Foles, I don’t know that he’s going to have a lot of interest in those spots. I do believe Denver would’ve been intriguing for him because it’s a roster with a good amount of talent and a good situation. But that was not going to be reciprocated by Denver. So, I don’t see a great impact on Nick Foles. Had the Broncos been a reasonable destination for him, I think that would’ve been viewed as a bonus on his end. Now we look to some of the shrinking spots for Nick Foles, a lot of people are talking about Miami as a possibility, I just don’t see that as a possibility for Nick Foles right now. So, it looks like “destination: Jacksonville” right now in large part because the [Eagles] certainly want to make sure he doesn’t end up in the division, with the Giants or the Redskins.

We’ve already seen the Jaguars speculated as a potential landing spot for Foles, especially with former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo being hired there. We’ve also heard the Eagles prefer to send Foles to Jacksonville.

What’s new here is that Garafolo seems to be the first person to actually say that the Jaguars DO have interest in BDN. And that Foles is actually interested in joining them, as well.

Garafolo isn’t the only insider to be pumping up the “Foles to the Jags” buzz. Jason La Canfora is saying that Foles “remains the most obvious candidate to become the starter in Jacksonville.” Jay Glazer of The Athletic recently wrote he “wouldn’t be surprised if [the Jaguars] went after someone like Nick Foles.”

The only question is: does Foles sign with the Jaguars as a free agent or do the Eagles trade him there?

If the Eagles had their way, they’d franchise tag Foles and send him to Jacksonville for at least a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (it’s worth noting the Jaguars own two third-round selections — their own pick and the Rams’ pick). Trading Foles to the Jags would 1) ensure he’s out of the NFC East and 2) allow them to get a guaranteed pick for Foles this year — as opposed to merely hoping they get a compensatory pick for him in the 2020 NFL Draft.

If Foles has his way, he’d simply sign with the Jaguars in free agency. That way his new team wouldn’t have to give up a pick and he could freely negotiate with Jacksonville without the Eagles having any influence on the process.

Perhaps the Eagles and Foles will work together to facilitate a trade that sends Philly’s 2018 Super Bowl MVP to the AFC South. I can’t say it’s the likely outcome but it’s not impossible.

The Eagles can place the franchise tag on Foles at any point from February 19 until March 5. Philly likely needs to have a trade agreed upon before applying the tag to Foles because otherwise the Eagles would risk getting stuck with a $25+ million cap number in 2019.

We’ll soon see what the Eagles decide to do.