As it currently stands, Nick Foles is scheduled to be a free agent when the new NFL league year begins on March 13. Foles reportedly voided his 2019 contract option by paying $2 million back to the Philadelphia Eagles.
It’s still possible the Eagles could use the franchise tag on Foles to prevent him from entering free agency. ESPN has been reporting the Eagles plan to do just that. Now NFL reporter Jason Cole is adding to that sentiment by saying Philly wants to block Foles from staying in the NFC East and signing with the New York Giants.
Are the Philadelphia Eagles willing to pay quarterback Nick Foles roughly $25 million for one year to keep him from driving north on the Jersey Turnpike? Keeping Foles from the division-rival New York Giants — assuming the Giants decide to move on from Eli Manning — appears to be the biggest consideration as the Eagles toy with the idea of putting the franchise tag on him. According to two NFL sources, Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is considering that idea after an exchange of moves that could potentially leave Foles as the top free agent quarterback on the market next month. The Eagles believe there’s a strong chance the Giants will part ways with Manning and attempt to sign Foles if Foles hits the market.
Chris Mortensen already said the Eagles “don’t want [Foles] to go to the Giants or the Redskins” but Cole is now specifically saying Philly believes the G-Men will go hard after the 2018 Super Bowl MVP.
Our enemies at Big Blue View already offered their take on this Cole report. My take is that I don’t think the Eagles care about preventing Foles going to the Giants to the point where blocking him is their main motivator for using the franchise tag.
I think the Eagles only place the tag on Foles unless they 100% know they can trade him. Otherwise, they’re risking carrying a $25+ million cap hit in 2019 when they’re already projected to have the lowest amount of cap space in the league.
My guess is that there’s like an 18% chance Foles gets traded this offseason. The more likely option is that he walks in free agency. I just can’t entirely rule out a trade scenario given Howie Roseman’s ability to get creative.
As for where Foles ends up, I’m not so convinced it’s going to be New York. Everyone points to the Pat Shurmur connection, which I get, but Shurmur is also the guy who advocated for the Eagles trading Foles for Sam Bradford in 2015 (as Sheil Kapadia has pointed out on Birds With Friends).
Also, I’ll believe the Giants are moving on from Manning when I see it. BBV manager Ed Valentine told me: “I don’t think the Giants are going [the free agent route] for a quarterback.”
For what it’s worth, the latest odds on Foles’ 2019 destination only have the Giants as the fifth most likely landing spot.
Where will Nick Foles play for Week 1 of the 2019-2020 NFL season?— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) February 6, 2019
Miami Dolphins +250
Jacksonville Jaguars +250
Washington Redskins +275
Denver Broncos +400
New York Giants +900
Oakland Raiders +1200
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2000
Carolina Panthers +2200