ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler brought up the possibility of a potential Nick Foles reunion earlier today and it’s got the cogs turning. For what feels like the millionth time, the man who lives rent-free in Tom Brady’s head is once again associated with the team that drafted him. A lot has changed since he left, so would a reunion make sense with Carson Wentz now in Indianapolis and Doug Pederson no longer around? Here are the pros and cons of a potential reunion.
A hometown discount?
It’s not exactly a secret that Nick Foles loves Philadelphia and that love will forever be reciprocated after his Super Bowl 52 heroics. Foles would be hypothetically reuniting with the Eagles for a third time after being drafted by the team in 2012 and returning in 2017 after his first three-year span resulted in a trade to the Rams.
Foles may not be the stereotypical ‘Philly’ guy, but he’s about as Philly as it comes and on top of that, will be very aware of the fact that his old teammates took pay-cuts to reward his iconic 2017 form that brought a Lombardi trophy to the City of Brotherly Love. With the Eagles strapped for cash and a clear glass ceiling in Chicago, who’s to say that Foles won’t restructure his contract to lower a potential $6M cap-hit upon his arrival as a gesture of goodwill.
For whatever reason, the Eagles were always to bring out a side of Foles that other teams simply couldn’t. Jacksonville, L.A., and Chicago have all tried and failed. Prior to his departure after Super Bowl 52, there was a consensus among league executives that Foles wouldn’t be able to replicate his stellar level of play outside of Philadelphia and they were eventually proven right.
Nick Foles may not ever reach the highs he once did, but there’s clearly a level of comfort there. Sirianni’s offense isn’t going to be drastically different from Pederson’s and after seeing how well Phillip Rivers was able to perform within those confines, it’s not hard to imagine Foles being able to at least manage the game in an emergency scenario.
In terms of the tier of QB, Foles may not be at the same level as Jacoby Brissett or Tyrod Taylor, but the Eagles have always seemed to be able to find a way to prop him up and mold their offense around his strengths. If he’s available at a discount, it’s an opportunity worth exploring for that reason alone.
The perfect mentor?
Foles has been a starter, Foles has been benched. Foles has been loved, Foles has been hated. He’s mentored a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz, played in the biggest game there is, and has experience in numerous different teams and systems having backed up QB’s like Alex Smith and Mitchell Trubisky. Is there really a better mentor out there for someone like Jalen Hurts, who has already gone through many similar experiences at a lower level?
The numbers, Mason!
The Eagles stood pat when free agency opened as backup QB’s were snatched from the pool of available players within a few hours. They were happy to fork out $5M for Anthony Harris, but a backup QB? Not so much. It’s somewhat tricky to believe that they would then want to part ways with valuable draft capital. The Eagles have the most picks in the upcoming NFL Draft and for a team looking to re-tool, it’s a perfect spot to be in. Giving up draft capital for a backup QB when they could have just signed arguably more appealing candidates off the street seems a little counter-intuitive.
The Elephant in the room here is obviously a case of history repeating itself. The Eagles brought in Nick Foles once before and while he stepped in valiantly for Carson Wentz and sparked one of the greatest underdog stories of all time, it would feel weird bringing him back again after the absolute mess that unfolded last year.
We know that Nick Foles is revered in Philadelphia and his statue inside the Headhouse Plaza proves that. But one year after Howie Roseman preached that he has to emotionally disconnect from his players, this would be hypocritical, just like Jason Peters in the months that followed that speech.
Jalen Hurts strikes me as a quarterback who is mature enough to embrace the presence of someone like Foles, but as for the never-ending QB controversy that Foles is at the epicenter of, this would do nothing but expedite those discussions and create a ton of unnecessary external pressure.
Nick Foles and the Eagles once had an amazing thing – a fairytale romance. But all stories must come to and. If you learn to squeeze but not when to let go, it only ends in tears. The Eagles burned themselves once before and cannot afford to do it again.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire