As the Eagles decide what to do with quarterback Nick Foles, other players in the locker room are paying attention. And they believe that Foles deserves extra consideration based on his accomplishments on behalf of the franchise and the city in which it is located.
“Nick deserves the opportunity for input,” defensive end Chris Long told PFT Live last week. “I think it’s one of those unique situations where, you know, a lot of the times it is a business but this guy, undoubtedly. . . . I mean, they built a statue for him outside of the stadium. You don’t send him somewhere he doesn’t want to be or put him somewhere against his will. I think finding that sweet spot where he has some input and the team wins too if that’s the situation, I think everyone would respect that.”
Of course, it would be hard for any team to trade a potential starting quarterback to a team for which he doesn’t want to play. Starting quarterbacks need to be all in, arriving early, staying late, gathering teammates for offseason workouts beyond the formal offseason workout program, holding teammates accountable, etc. If a quarterback gets sent to a place where he doesn’t want to be, he won’t be all in — and he won’t be as effective as the team needs him to be.
The deeper question is whether Foles should have more than just input into his next destination. Foles arguably should be unfettered as to his next move, given the Super Bowl trophy he delivered to the franchise. Why would he want to go to a team like the Jaguars via trade when he could get more money by signing with the Jaguars on the open market — and when the Jaguars would keep the draft pick(s) that otherwise would be sent to Philly? That’s why Foles needs to be willing to fight this one, without regard to whether the Eagles get irritated with him for taking a stand.
Teams make decisions in their own best interests all the time. Players need to do the same thing, especially when they have the leverage to pull it off.