Exploring the idea and possible ripple effects of trading Nick Foles

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Let’s start with the obvious destination.

The Jaguars have long been linked to Foles, even before they hired former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo as their new offensive coordinator.

Last year around this time, they were one play away from making it to the Super Bowl to face off against the Eagles, but this year was a complete reversion to the Jaguars of old.

Their quarterback play was close to, if not totally, abysmal between Blake Bortle and Cody Kessler.  They have an above average, if not top tier, defense led by cornerback Jalen Ramsey and have, one would suspect, plenty of formidable options in the running game between Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon, and Carlos Hyde.

But, two of the aforementioned players, could be had in a trade with the Eagles.

Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey has been outspoken about numerous topics throughout his short career in the NFL.  As one of the premier “trash talkers” in the NFL, he also walks the walk.

Although Ramsey had a statistically worse season than he did in 2017, he still had 65 tackles, three interceptions, and 13 pass breakups in 2018.

He’s also apparently on the outs in Jacksonville, as ESPN reporter Adam Schefter stated in November that the team may look to trade him this offseason, something the team denied outright:

But a statement mid-season doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll hold up beyond February.

Could the Jaguars be intrigued by getting a potential franchise quarterback for another 5-10 years (Foles will be 30 on January 20th) and parting ways with a potential “diva” player?  Sure.  But as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP points out, it’s unlikely.

But let’s just say, hypothetically, this trade goes down.  Having Ramsey join Avonte Maddox, Cre’Von LeBlanc, and Malcolm Jenkins in a secondary that will be getting Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, and possibly Rodney McLeod (free agent) would vault them immediately into the top tier of NFL secondaries.

They also face Mitchell Trubisky, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Tom Brady, Sam Darnold, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Josh Allen, and whomever the Dolphins persuade to be their quarterback (more on that later) for their out of division games.  Having Jalen Ramsey on hand for those games could prove essential, especially when the Eagles were ranked 30th in passing yards allowed in 2018.

But the second of the two players that may be had from the Jaguars could be more likely to be traded to the Eagles, and he meets another area of weakness for the team.

Leonard Fournette

Recently, the Jaguars voided the guaranteed money in running back Leonard Fournette’s contract.  He has since challenged the ruling, but it’s becoming increasingly likely that the two will part ways this off-season.

With Carlos Hyde in the fold (T.J. Yeldon is a free agent), the team could find themselves parting ways with Fournette in a deal to get Foles could be their best option.

So how could that help the Eagles in 2019?

The Eagles play seven teams in the bottom half in the NFL in rushing yards allowed in 2018: Buffalo, Washington, Giants, Jets, Green Bay, Atlanta, and Miami.  Fournette has a career 3.7 yards per carry average, and that could be helpful against those teams who all allowed 4.2 yards per carry (YPC) or higher.

The Eagles were 28th in the NFL in rushing yards per game with 98.1.  Adding a low-risk, high-reward back like Fournette could bring those stats back to the 2017 numbers, where they were third in the league with 132.2 yards per game.

Foles would surely welcome the opportunity to be with a team with a top tier defense and commitment to the running game, which is exactly what he had with the 2017 Eagles.  It also wouldn’t hurt to move from the cold Northeast to Florida.

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