Did the Joe Flacco trade help the Jacksonville Jaguars?
By David Levin
Now that Joe Flacco is off the market, after news broke of a trade with the Denver Broncos, what happens now with the Jaguars and their pursuit of a quarterback?
Let me start out by saying we really don’t know what is going on behind closed doors with the Jacksonville Jaguars and whether or not they will pursue a veteran quarterback, either through free agency or by trade this offseason.
The official start to the 2019 NFL season is still a month away and already there has been one trade (that cannot officially be finalized yet) that has sent Baltimore Ravens signal caller Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos. The move shortens the list of veteran quarterbacks who could be available for the right price.
What the trade on Wednesday did do is make the path for Nick Foles to become a Jaguar a bit easier. It did however, open another door where Case Keenum, who signed with the Broncos last offseason, is now amongst the quarterbacks local sports talk radio here in Jacksonville has discussed in the past 24 hours.
Again, this is pure speculation and plenty of rumors to be had.
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"According to Tim McManus of ESPN.com, “Nick Foles quickly voided his 2019 option with the Philadelphia Eagles last week by sending the team a cashier’s check for $2 million. The team can still place the franchise tag on Foles and intends to do so before trying to trade him, sources on other NFL teams who have been in touch with Philadelphia told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.”"
One way or another, it appears Foles has taken his last snap as an Eagle and the Jaguars, in need of a veteran leader, could be his landing spot. It makes sense given the team’s addition of John DiFilippo as offensive coordinator and their relationship in Philadelphia while winning the Super Bowl in 2017.
Still, the Jaguars will consider quarterbacks as well – should they finally decide to move on from Blake Bortles. Let me reiterate that there has been no word from the Jaguars about what they plan to do with their fifth-year starter. A $16.5 million dead cap space hit to the team’s salary cap may be part of the reason for no news from the Jaguars on this matter.
Whether a deal could be worked out with Foles is still not known, where he may seek an astronomical deal the Jaguars cannot work out due to salary constraints.
"“The window to apply the tag is Feb. 19 to March 5. Philly would have to be confident it could execute a tag-and-trade before going down this road, as it can’t afford Foles as a $25 million backup to Carson Wentz,” McManus added."
So, how would the Jaguars acquire Foles and still be able to use cap money to secure other free agents to help the struggling offense from a few months ago? It will take plenty of manuevering by the front office to make sure needed talent is not released for the sake of the signal caller. Remember as well, this is still a team with a solid defense. If the Jaguars are healthier than they were in 2018 and the defense remains a top-five unit, then they could be a quarterback away from playing in Miami in February of 2020.
This is also a team that still needs help at wide receiver, offensive line and tight end. Depth is also needed at running back and for some reason, I still think there is a chance Leonard Fournette gets traded if the right deal comes along.
Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com did add to McManus’ story, saying there is a way for the Jaguars and Foles to come to an agreement, but it would more than likely be through free agency.
“Foles is an option for the Jaguars, but it would be most likely as a free agent. The X-factor is how desperate executive VP of football ops Tom Coughlin, GM Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone are when it comes to 2019,” he explains. “Owner Shad Khan didn’t outright say the Jaguars need to return to the playoffs after an embarrassing 5-11 record in 2018, but that might be what it takes for the trio to have a shot at keeping their jobs in 2020.”
With news now out that Foles may be interested in playing in Jacksonville this coming season, it remains a mystery whether the feeling is mutual and how the Jaguars plan to address their most pressing issue this offseason.