How the Joe Flacco Deal Affects the Eagles and Nick Foles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The first offseason quarterback domino fell in the NFL Wednesday when Denver football chief John Elway stepped up and took another swing, agreeing to deal his first of two 2019 fourth-round picks to Baltimore for South Jersey native Joe Flacco, like his new boss a former Super Bowl MVP.
Elway has had trouble making decisions at the position he used to excel at since Peyton Manning walked off into retirement with his second Super Bowl ring.
Names like Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Case Keenum often cause Broncos fans to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, fearful of the next turnover. The latest decision was the big-armed Flacco, a tall conventional pocket passer who has proven he knows how to win in this league.
For the most part Nick Foles wasn't really an option for Elway, who kicked the tires in the Eagles super sub, according to NFL sources in Denver, but never got much past that because his new coaching staff, defensive-minded head coach Vic Fangio and offensive coordinator Rich Scanagrello wanted a signal caller comfortable playing under center and the feeling is Foles is better from the pistol or shotgun in a spread offense.
Some might argue that it's ridiculous to make decisions on how comfortable a QB is under center in the modern NFL but they are not in charge of the Denver offense.
As for the Eagles it does affect the potential of a sign-and-trade with Foles, which was always going to be difficult anyway.
Flacco generated an early fourth-round pick with a more palatable contract that Foles will have if Philadelphia places the franchise tag on the latter, a necessity if the Eagles want to make a trade. The Broncos are on the hook for $18.5 million when it comes to Flacco in 2019 and the franchise number is going to be right around $25M.
The goal for the Eagles in any potential trade is a third-round pick but the more pressing need from an organizational standpoint is steering Foles away from the division and either the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.
A reunion with John DeFilippo, now the OC in Jacksonville, remains the prefered outcome.
The window for the Eagles to apply the franchise tag on Foles starts on Feb. 19 and ends on March 5. The NFL's new league year starts on March 13 when Flacco to Denver will become official.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen