The Jaguars fill their biggest need on offense with Nick Foles
Does Nick Foles, who is set to sign a four-year, $88-million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, do something no other quarterback has done with this franchise – win a Super Bowl?
Now that it’s been announced the Jacksonville Jaguars will sign Nick Foles as their new franchise quarterback, there is an $88 million question that must be the answered. Can Foles, who has been the best back up quarterback in the NFL the past two seasons, take a Jacksonville football team with fewer weapons than he had in Philadelphia and win on a consistent basis?
After reading some of the comments of the fan base last night I get the impression the majority of them are happy the Jaguars are moving on from Blake Bortles. Of that majority, they would have liked the team to get his replacement at a cheaper value. With so much riding on the 2019 season, Foles becomes the most important player in the Jaguars locker room, and the most polarizing player in the AFC South.
No matter what you think about the contract, the guaranteed money, or the fact that there were other options out there for the Jaguars, everything now rides on the arm of a 30-year-old journeyman. Some media members have already written the move the Jaguars made on Monday was ill advised given the deal Bortles received just a year ago.
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"Per Steven Ruiz of For The Win. “This comes one year after the team gave Bortles a three-year, $54 million extension. To make room for Foles’ contract, the Jaguars will cut Bortles and eat $16.5 million in dead money. Jacksonville is using A LOT of its cap space on the quarterback position and it’s difficult to even say that they’ve made a major upgrade.”"
Personally, I am excited about what this season can be. But I’m also saddened to see Bortles, who has been more than just a team player for this organization, leave the Jaguars. Now, Jacksonville must concentrate on finding Foles weapons to work with.
They must improve the offensive line and secure the services of a tight end and at least one playmaker.
What this contract does for the front office is make it a little more difficult to add missing pieces to a broken puzzle. I would suspect Corey Grant will be re-signed to come back as a back-up running back. I also think some of the teams offensive lineman will be re-signed with the knowledge the Draft will also provide depth for the unit.
The Jaguars are banking on Foles continuing to show the same kind of moxie he has the past two seasons. While the knock on him in the past has been for his ineffectiveness as a younger player, I’m not as concerned about that as most are.
I want the older, more experienced signal caller who has shown he can win in the big moment. I want the quarterback who can complete a pass without worrying if it can reach a wide receiver in stride. I want the guy who won the Super Bowl.
"Per ESPN.com, Foles has completed 62 percent of his passes in 54 career games, with 68 touchdowns to 33 interceptions. He has the sixth-best career postseason passer rating (98.8) in NFL history."
That’s what the Jaguars are hoping for and if Foles leads the Jaguars to the playoffs in 2019, 2020 and maybe 2021, then the contract will be warranted. If he gets this franchise to the Super Bowl, it might be viewed as a steal by this fan base.
NFL free agency is as much of an uncertainty as the stock market, with players performing above and beyond, which results in a huge payday. Foles has a chance to change history with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He is going to be asked to walk into a situation where Jaguars we’re expected to be a Super Bowl contender last season but fell apart, and immediately make them better. He is also walking into a division where the fans and the national media are going to expect him to immediately be better than Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck.
It sure makes a great theater. And if Jacksonville is able to make the 2019 playoffs with an improved offense, better running game and over the top defense, Foles becomes the final puzzle piece that fits into what this organization has wanted to do.
If he wins, then the chatter of a huge contract fades like the fog on the St. Johns River. If he fails, then the pundits who paned this deal will sing like canaries. For now, however, the Jaguars have a new starting quarterback. The only question left to answer is will Foles be a franchise quarterback or lumped together with all the other failed experiments at the position from the past?