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Adam Schefter says it’s not illegal for the Eagles to tag and trade Nick Foles

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In case you were wondering.

Divisional Round - Philadelphia Eagles v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

NFL insider Adam Schefter answered several questions about Nick Foles during his Wednesday morning appearance on the 97.5 The Fanatic Morning Show with Marc Farzetta, Tra Thomas, and Bob Cooney. Here’s a look at what he all had to say:

FARZETTA: Do you still think that they’ll find that way [to trade Nick Foles]?

SCHEFTER: I do, because I think they are a very smart, shrewd organization. And I don’t think the Eagles are in the habit of letting starting caliber quarterbacks just walk out the door without getting anything back and not having any say where he goes. To me, in the end, I don’t see that happening. I think that somehow they find a way to trade him, which would mean they put the franchise tag on him and, again, we’ve been waiting to see it how plays out exactly. And no one knows for sure. But I just come back to that fact that they’re so smart, and they’re so good at what they do, that they’ll find a way to get this done.

FARZETTA: So why wouldn’t Nick Foles fight [the tag]? There are stories out there that the CBA, there’s a clause in there that he can fight it.

SCHEFTER: I can tell you this. I don’t know the exact reasoning, I can’t speak at length … but I was told flat out that is false. False. If the Eagles wants to use their franchise tag on Nick Foles with the sole intent of trying to trade him, they can, okay? So, I don’t know how it plays out. We’re going to see here. But that’s not going to inhibit their decision, I don’t believe.

FARZETTA: Is Jacksonville the most likely landing spot for Foles?

SCHEFTER: I would think that is the most likely scenario. Now, the question is whether they would trade for him, whether they wouldn’t. There are other teams out that with quarterback questions and needs: Miami, Washington, the Giants. You’re not going to trade him in the division, that’s not going to happen. And then you don’t know if there’s a team like — I’m just making this up — maybe Oakland moves on from Derek Carr and there’s an opening. We haven’t seen any evidence of that but there are always surprising things that happen, so we’ll just have to wait and see. It doesn’t seem like there’s an obvious amount of landing spots [for Foles], so that’s why I’m curious to see how the whole thing plays out, but Nick Foles is a starting caliber quarterback in this league. And so it’s up to Philadelphia to go find a trade partner. Jacksonville makes sense, we’ll have to see if the Jaguars would be willing to do that.

Some thoughts:

  • Schefter was the first one to report the Eagles’ intentions to use the tag on Foles. He said the following during a televised ESPN appearance earlier this month: “the bottom line here is that the Eagles ARE expected to use their franchise tag on him and they ARE expected to try to trade him so they can help dictate where he winds up.” He doesn’t seem to be backing off that sentiment.
  • It’s interesting to hear that Schefter say tagging and trading Foles isn’t illegal. Pro Football Talk previously pointed to language in the CBA that suggests the Eagles can’t legally do that. “Article 4, Section 8, subsection (b) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states as follows: “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” The reality is this policy hasn’t been strictly enforced by the league in the past. For the Eagles’ sake, it’s good to know that trading Foles isn’t off the table.
  • The Jaguars continue to be rumored as the most likely landing spot for Foles. Last week, NFL insider Mike Garafolo said there’s expected to be “mutual interest” between Foles and the Jags.
  • The “it doesn’t seem like there’s an obvious amount of landing spots [for Foles]” line makes me think Foles’ market might not be as strong as some would think it would be. And if that’s true, it’s all the more reason for Foles to want to be tagged so he gets a $25+ million starting point.
  • As a reminder, the Eagles have until 4:00 PM ET on March 5 to use the tag. Philadelphia will try their hardest to get a trade in place by then. If there’s a deal agreed upon (such as the one the Broncos and Ravens agreed to regarding Joe Flacco), then the Eagles will tag Foles and officially ship him out when the new league year begins on March 13. If there’s no deal in place, the Eagles likely won’t be able to risk tagging Foles and getting stuck with his huge cap hit.