With the 2018-19 season officially over for the Philadelphia Eagles, the looming question about Nick Foles begins. Given the circumstances of the situation in Philly, the Eagles are in all likelihood going to keep starting quarterback Carson Wentz and allow Nick Foles to hit the free agency market. Putting aside all the other quarterbacks expected to hit the market and those to be taken in the NFL draft, what are the potential landing spots for Nick Foles?
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have officially moved on from Blake Bortles, as was made clear by his benching mid-season. This team was 10-6 last season and reached the playoffs as the 3rd seed. In that playoff run, they beat out the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers before being edged out by Tom Brady and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship game. In essence, they were a top 4 team, but they certainly didn’t look like it this year as they ended the season with a 5-11 record.
The majority of the blame comes at Blake Bortles who never seems to make the right throw and right play. With his benching, the Jaguars are officially seeking a solid quarterback to bring this team back around to the playoffs. They still have a dominant defense that only gives up 19.8 points per game, ranked 4th overall in the league. They also have Leonard Fournette at running back and are just one solid quarterback away from reaching the playoffs. Nick Foles should definitely be on the radar of the Jaguars, if not the focal point of their free agency.
2. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have only had 1 winning season, out of 6, with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. This team has more needs than just a quarterback as their defense is giving up 27.1 points per game, ranked 27th, but the question of whether or not Tannehill is the franchise quarterback has been answered and it’s a clear, “No.” The Dolphins aren’t the perfect situation for Nick Foles due to their varying needs to be a solid team, but the Dolphins probably want Foles more than Foles wants the Dolphins and that’s all that matters. They should definitely be in the hunt for the Foles magic, but whether or not it’s a good spot for Foles is another question for another time.
3. Denver Broncos
The Broncos have been searching for a solid quarterback ever since Peyton Manning officially retired after the 2015-16 season. Since then, the Broncos have had 4 different starting quarterbacks in 3 seasons. After signing in free agency, Case Keenum just led this team this past season to a 6-10 record. They’ve yet to find an answer at the quarterback position and should definitely be considering Nick Foles at the position. Their defense remains stout and ready to handle the workload of the game, creating a better situation for Nick Foles.
4. Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins are once again looking for a quarterback after Alex Smith got injured and could be forced to retire from that injury. This is a solid team that was leading the NFC East at 6-3 until Alex Smith went down. After that, they went 1-6 to finish with a 7-9 record. The Redskins would be favored to dominate the weak NFC East if they have a solid quarterback and they looked poised to do so with Alex Smith. A Nick Foles signing makes all the sense in the world for that team, especially considering their rivalry with the Eagles. Stealing Nick Foles from the Eagles gives them insight into the Eagles playstyle and allows them to rub Nick Foles in their face from the other side of the field. Imagine if the Redskins beat the Eagles with Nick Foles and the Eagles season looks doomed, how would the Eagles feel about the quarterback decision to stick with Wentz? A Nick Foles signing doesn’t just significantly help the Redskins, but it could also cause major strife in the Eagles locker room.
5. New York Giants
The New York Giants have an aging Eli Manning who is playing worse and worse each year. With so much talent on the offensive side, there are no excuses for the New York Giants to finish with a 5-11 record. A lot of blame goes to Eli Manning for not being able to make the right throws and plays with a young talented core of wide receivers led by Odell Beckham Jr. and Rookie of the Year candidate, Saquon Barkley. Many Giants fans, including myself, would be interested to see how the team plays with Nick Foles at the helm. It just feels as if Eli Manning’s time has come to an end and a new face of leadership is needed at that position. For similar reasons as the Redskins, a Nick Foles signing would not be surprising.
6. Oakland Raiders
Jon Gruden has been shipping out pro-bowl players ever since his arrival in Oakland. Both Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, team-building foundational players, were let go. Seeing Gruden let go of Derek Carr and landing Nick Foles would not be surprising at all. With Gruden, it seems to be “expect the unexpected.” We all expect Carr to be at quarterback for the Raiders next season so a Nick Foles landing is definitely a possibility.
7. Cincinnati Bengals
For very similar reasons as the Jaguars, the Cincinnati Bengals have to ask themselves whether or not Andy Dalton is the answer for the franchise. After 8 seasons, Dalton has only had 1 season with over 30 touchdown passes and 1 season with over 100 passer rating. If the Bengals conclude Dalton isn’t the answer, the door is open to a Nick Foles entry. Otherwise, this is a very unlikely landing spot for Foles.
8. Minnesota Vikings
As unlikely as this seems, it is worth considering. The Minnesota Vikings went on a limb last year and signed Kirk Cousins to major contract for 3 years, worth $84 million. This made Cousins the highest paid player in the NFL, but his play did not live up to that paycheck. Cousins was a very solid quarterback, finishing the season with a 70.1% completion percentage, over 4,200 yards passing, 30 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 99.7 passer rating. With all that in mind, Cousins came up short time and again in the biggest moments of the year. In the final game of the year, in which if the Vikings win, they’re in the playoffs, Cousins put up only 132 yards and a touchdown with a passer rating of 79.4 against the Bears. These are the moments the Vikings signed Cousins for and he came up short time and again. It’s highly unlikely that Foles will be in play this free agnecy for the Vikings, but it’s worth noting that Foles is all about making the big-time plays in the big-time moments.
9. Philadelphia Eagles
That’s right, the Eagles could do the unexpected. Currently, the Eagles have an option on Nick Foles. The Eagles can excersice that option and keep Foles for the 2019 season, but it comes at a cost of $20 million guaranteed. Everyone expects the Eagles to allow Foles to hit the free agency because who pays a backup $20 million? However, the Eagles can surprise us all and exercise the option to keep Foles. Afterall, Wentz does have a history of getting injured and a potential 3rd playoff run by a backup QB in Philly is more likely than not at this point. Other than keeping him, the Eagles can also exercise the option and try trading him. There are a few things the Eagles can do by keeping Foles, but again, the likelihood of paying a backup $20 million is very very slim.