On Tuesday, the case was made for Nick Foles doing what’s best for Nick Foles, because it’s clear that the Eagles will always do what’s best for the Eagles. On Tuesday, the Eagles made it clear that, indeed, they will do what’s best for them, when it comes to Foles or anyone else.
“It always has to be what’s best for our football team and the Philadelphia Eagles,” Eagles executive V.P. of football operations Howie Roseman told reporters. “We have to make decisions based on that.”
In other words, Foles may think he deserves a shot at the open market, unfettered by any rights the Eagles may be able to exercise. But that doesn’t mean the Eagles will let that happen.
“There is also a respect factor for guys that have done a lot for us and been part of it,” Roseman acknowledged. “We try to factor that in as well, but the bottom line is we have to do what’s best for our football team to help us win games going forward.”
With Foles, the ultimate respect would be to let him walk away as a free agent. But that’s not “best for our football team,” because the Eagles could play out this hand in a way that allows them to finagle something more than whatever compensatory draft pick consideration they’d realize.
And the Eagles will make no apologies for doing that. Indeed, when Roseman says that “I don’t know a team that wouldn’t want to have Nick Foles on their roster,” Roseman is laying the foundation to eventually trade Foles, presumably after application of the franchise tag.
Still, Foles shouldn’t be bashful about acting in his own interests. He can make it clear that, if he’s tagged, he won’t sign the tender, preventing the Eagles from trading him. Or he’ll sign the tender, happily collect roughly $25 million, and refuse to sign a long-term contract, with the Eagles or anyone else.
If he wants to take it to another level, Foles can (through his agent) make it clear that he believes he has deserved the opportunity to pick his next team unrestricted and unfettered, and that he will no longer be a good solider while he waits for the long-overdue reward flowing from the Super Bowl championship he delivered to the Eagles last year. For example, Foles can make it clear (privately) that he won’t show up for any voluntary offseason activities with any team (whether he signs the tender or not) until he gets a chance to go to the market and get paid whatever the market will bear.
So what will the market bear? If Kirk Cousins got $84 million fully guaranteed on a three-year deal on the open market despite never winning a playoff game and having a propensity for losing high-profile regular-season games (a trend that has continued this year), couldn’t Foles get that much? Couldn’t he get more?
Yes, Foles’ time with the Rams didn’t go well. Neither did Case Keenum‘s time with the Rams, nor Jared Goff‘s. Before and after that lost year in St. Louis, Foles has proven that he can do what few have done in recent years: Win a Super Bowl.
That has value. And Foles has done enough to deserve a chance to turn that value into money that will sustain his family, decades into the future.