Appearing on ESPN Postseason NFL Countdown on Sunday morning, NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen offered some more information regarding the Philadelphia Eagles’ desire to trade Nick Foles.
First, Schefter talked about his report that the Eagles intend to franchise tag Foles:
SCHEFTER: “It sounds like the Philadelphia Eagles are going to use their franchise tag on Nick Foles. The question is how they get there. They can pick up a $20 million option a week after this game and then Nick Foles could buy back his freedom for $2 million, at which point the Eagles would franchise [tag] him. Or the Eagles could simply just save him the $2 million and just go ahead and tag him ... never pick up the option and say ‘We’re gonna tag you right now.’ That’s up to the two sides to figure out the best way to move forward. But 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.
On that note of the Eagles wanting to decide where Foles goes — as opposed to letting him chose his new team in free agency — Mortensen seemed to suggest Philly has a preferred landing spot.
MORTENSEN: “And where he winds up, I think what the Eagles would like to see is something develop with the Jacksonville Jaguars, because John DeFilippo is now down there as the offensive coordinator. He was the Eagles’ quarterback coach a year ago when they won the Super Bowl. But Foles knows, and his representatives, that this is a business. He’s not going to play nice nice with the Eagles. They don’t want him to go to the Giants or the Redskins — although it was noted to me they let Donovan McNabb go to the Redskins one time and that didn’t hurt them — so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. But that’s the goal, is not to let him go inside the division, and the Jaguars being hopefully the team that gets him. And what do you think is the draft pick?
SCHEFTER: That’s what I was going to tell you, it sounds like it’s going to be a third-round draft pick. [That’s] what they’re looking for to get back for Nick Foles, a third.
Conveniently enough, the Jaguars happen to have two third-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft after trading Dante Fowler Jr. to the Los Angeles Rams prior to the trade deadline.
But just because the Eagles potentially want to send Foles to the AFC South doesn’t mean the feeling mutual in Jacksonville. The Jags definitely need help at quarterback with Blake Bortles clearly not the answer, yes, but it’s not like it HAS to be Foles or bust for them.
Tagging and trading Foles is not an impossible task. It can be done. But there are significant road blocks to work through, as BGN’s Benjamin Solak previously noted.
The reality is that the Eagles might just have to let Foles walk in free agency. In the meantime, Howie Roseman will do his best to try to drum up a trade market so that doesn’t happen.