It’s well known that the Jaguars have interest in soon-to-be free agent quarterback Nick Foles of the Eagles. Now, a report Sunday morning from Philadelphia says that they’re not only the front runner to land him, but maybe, the only significant suitor for the veteran Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
Long time Eagles beat writer Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer had the story midday Sunday that according to their sources, he’s the Jaguars property, if they can come to terms:
Your next Nick Foles jersey is gonna be Jaguars blue… https://t.co/ksMMex6HlS
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 3, 2019
The most interesting aspect of the report is: that the Jaguars and Foles’ representatives are not supposed to be having these conversations, much less, discussing details of a possible contract, when the NFL legal tampering period has not yet begun. However, it’s very well known that most of these deals are done in advance of that tampering period, and the actual start to free agency which is March 13th.
We have well documented that the Jaguars are going to get rid of embattled QB Blake Bortles and most likely designate him as a post-June 1st release. That would enable them to spread his “dead cap” money over the next two seasons. That means Jacksonville is in need of an established veteran QB and Foles would fit that bill.
The one part of this story that is key, and Bowen doesn’t address it, is that Jacksonville doesn’t have the money to sign Foles to a significant contract, as of yet. They’re going to have to house clean and clear at least $10-15 million or more from their salary cap.
Part of that process apparently includes the Saturday report that defensive tackle Malik Jackson and running back Carlos Hyde will either being traded or outright released before free agency begins. Getting rid of those two players and their cap money would represent some $13 million in salary-cap dollars for 2019.
It’s believed that Foles will command an average of at least $15 million per year and his deal will have likely at least $25+ million in guarantees. Of course, it could get very interesting if the Jaguars, and Tom Coughlin/Dave Caldwell believe that they are the only significant bidders for Foles, and elect to play tougher in negotiations because of it.
Foles gained great leverage to become a starter on another team after the Eagles 2018 postseason run where he quarterback them to three wins, including the Super Bowl 52 victory over the New England Patriots. Philly elected to go back to established starter Carson Wentz in September of last season, once he was fully healed from his ACL knee surgery.
Still, Wentz was hurt again with a small fracture in his back late in the year and Foles quarterbacked Philadelphia into the playoffs again this past season. The Eagles knocked off the Bears in the Wild Card round in an upset in Chicago before narrowly losing to the Saints in the Divisional round of the playoffs the following week with Foles at the helm.
Jacksonville laid the ground work for acquiring Foles, in part, when they hired his former QB coach in Philly for 2017, John DeFilippo, as their new offensive coordinator in January.
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