Foles is Focused on Fit for his Future
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is likely headed toward some kind of free agency once the new league year begins in March.
The well-liked veteran who remains behind Carson Wentz in Philadelphia despite two years of playoff success has a unique team option in which both sides could opt out of a projected $20 million deal for 2019.
From the organization's perspective, it's almost impossible to pay that stipend for a backup especially with Wentz's presumed extension, which could reach well over $25M now in play. Foles can also pay back $2 million in already earned incentives to become free and likely earn over that $20M per season on the open market in a QB-desperate league.
A more-condensed version of all of that is Foles, a legend in Philadelphia for leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title after the 2017 season, has likely played his last game in the only professional city he has ever loved even if he wasn't quite ready to slam the door on Monday, clean-out day at the NovaCare Complex after a tough 20-14 divisional-round loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"Everything is open," Foles said when asked about his future. "It’s always about the people you’re with, the atmosphere. So much is put on the quarterback but great teams are great teams. If you expect the quarterback to go in there and do everything, you’re probably not going to be successful.”
That's something Foles learned in St. Louis when he failed as a starter so fit is going to be something very important to the veteran, something Foles found out during his first go-round in Philly with Andy Reid and Doug Pederson, his quick sojourn with Reid in Kansas City as Alex Smith's backup and here again with Pederson as the closer for Wentz.
“The teams that are successful, like in Kansas City and when I’ve been here, are teams that in the locker room, every side of the ball, everyone actually cares about one another,” Foles said.
The problem for Foles is that the cultures in Philadelphia and K.C. are among the strongest in the league and it's not easy to duplicate them in other facilities. Foles, however, believes, he can help by showing a new locker room the way the path forward.
“I’ve always believed in the fourth quarter of games, the way you win those games is when you trust the man next to you," he said. "How can you trust a guy if you’re not out there playing for him? You can’t. That’s what great teams do and that’s something I’ll always look for in a team.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen