NFL free agency begins March 13, and when it kicks off, quarterback Nick Foles is expected to leave the Philadelphia Eagles to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
That’s according to a column in the Philadelphia Daily News by Les Bowen Sunday, citing “NFL sources with knowledge of the situation.”
The sources added that the Jaguars “expect” to sign Foles, and have even been “working on the structure of a contract,” even though the free agent negotiation period has not yet begun. However, the Eagles have already said that they won’t re-sign Foles and place the franchise tag on him.
Bowen added that the Jaguars appear to be the only team bidding on Foles and that he’s not expected to become one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league. The deal would presumably mean that the Jaguars will get rid of Blake Bortles, their starting quarterback for the last several years.
Foles, who was drafted by the Eagles in 2012 (per Pro Football Reference), played the early part of his career with the team, even going on a memorable winning streak with 27 touchdown passes and only 2 interceptions in 2013. A year later, Foles was traded to the St. Louis Rams and was released after a mediocre season in 2015. He then spent a year with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Before the 2017 season, Foles returned to Philadelphia as a backup to young star quarterback Carson Wentz. When Wentz was injured in early December that year, Foles took over and led the Eagles on a surprise playoff run, which culminated in the Eagles’ first-ever Super Bowl victory in February of 2018, when they defeated the New England Patriots. Foles was named Super Bowl MVP.
Foles remained with the Eagles as a backup quarterback in 2018, and once again took over as starter following a December injury to Wentz. Foles again led the Eagles to victory down the stretch, as well as a first-round playoff win over the Chicago Bears. In the end, the team lost to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round.
The Eagles, who are committed to Wentz as their starter for the future, had reportedly considered using the franchise tag on Foles in order to trade him for value, but the team ultimately allowed Foles to enter free agency.
The Jaguars, who reached the AFC championship game after the 2017 season, regressed in 2018, finishing last in the AFC South with a 5-11 record. Bortles’ play made it fairly clear to most observers that the team needed to change up their quarterback.