Nick Foles: Will he be the Jaguars starting quarterback in 2019?
By David Levin
Nick Foles, the backup turned starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, may be the biggest name out there this offseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Nick Foles knows he and the Philadelphia Eagles have a decision to make once the current Super Bowl champions end their season. Will the back-up turned starter become the hottest name on the market this offseason, or will he remain with the Eagles. More important, does he fit in the Jacksonville Jaguars plans for a new signal caller in 2019?
Foles is the Cinderella story everyone loves to read about. How he came off the bench to engineer a Super Bowl run after replacing Carson Wentz in 2017. It’s not often a backup can outplay an MVP candidate like Foles did, but that’s how history will be written. Now, with two solid staters, a hefty contract in 2019 and questions about which team may look to secure his services for next season, Foles is letting it all play out. And he is allowing his play on the field do the talking for him.
"“I’m not worried about the future but I understand where I stand and every time I wear that jersey is special,” Foles said Wednesday via the Associated Press in a story that appears on USA Today’s website.“We get one more week together, at least.”"
It’s the humbleness that captures a nation of football fans, waiting to see where No. 9 will wind up. Here in Jacksonville, the Jaguars front office has plenty of decisions to make about this team, with quarterback at the top of the list.
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Could the team that may say goodbye to both Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler find a way to snatch Foles away from the Eagles and go on a run of their own? The weapons on offense are a bit better up north. The play calling is plenty different. Foles appears to play better when his team needs him most. This could be a match made in football heaven.
The Jaguars must first find an offensive coordinator and fast. Second, management must decide if Bortles is worth the price tag to keep him on the roster, or will this franchise eat $16.5 million in cap space? Third, they must decide if Leonard Fournette is still in their plans for the future.
And when that is all said and done, they must find complimentary playmakers on offense. That means better pass catchers, a solid tight end if Austin Seferian-Jenkins is not the answer and make sure the offensive line can hold up and withstand 16 grueling regular season games.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, went right for the Jaguars offense in 2018. Nick Foles could be the answer to everyone’s prayers. Then again, he is playing in a system that works for him, not the other way around. The Minnesota Vikings thought Kirk Cousins was the answer and a Super Bowl trip awaited them this year.
The men in purple, like Jacksonville, are sitting at home for the playoffs.
"“Foles returned to the starting lineup after a back injury sidelined Wentz last month and has led the Eagles to four straight wins, including a 16-15 comeback victory at Chicago in the wild-card round. Facing the NFL’s stingiest defense, Foles tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on fourth down with 56 seconds remaining,” the story explains."
A price tag for Foles won’t be cheap if he is traded instead of being allowed to become a free agent, which will also raise the bar of potential quarterback contracts this offseason. Jacksonville may need to offer a second-round pick and a player (Fournette, possibly Malik Jackson) to make a deal work.
I’m just throwing out scenarios here. Nothing is set in stone.
The Jaguars and every other team in the NFL looking to add a veteran quarterback this offseason will watch the Eagles game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. If Foles works his magic again and Philadelphia takes down the NFC’s top seed, then the price for his services again rises. If he and his team falter and they lose, the offseason immediately begins.
Either way, the Jaguars front office should be watching Nick Foles and how he once again handles a pressure situation. It could be part of the reason he is brought to Jacksonville. It could also be the missing piece to the puzzle on offense. And with that a trip back to the post season could be less than a year away.