Eagles expected to pick up 20MM option on Foles
Eagles to pick up 20MM option.
The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t ready to say goodbye to their folk hero backup quarterback Nick Foles yet. First they would like some compensation.
According to a report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Eagles are expected to pick up their end of a $20 million mutual option for Foles, although they have until Feb. 10 to make that move official. They still remain committed to Carson Wentz under center, so this move allows the Eagles to trade Foles and recoup some sort of return.
Foles has the ability to pay $2 million in previously earned salary to buy his way out of the mutual option, at which point he would become a free agent. The 30-year-old seems likely to do so since he could earn a much bigger pay day in free agency.
However, the Eagles could still franchise tag him, which would give him a one-year salary equal to an average of the top five quarterbacks’ salaries: around $25 million.
No matter how this all plays out, Foles will almost certainly be on a different team with the Eagles getting something in return. If the Eagles do not franchise tag Foles and he signs elsewhere as a free agent, Philadelphia will recoup a compensatory draft pick. But if he ends up signing a contract with Philly, they will work together to find a team for Foles to stick with.
Foles could be the premier quarterback on the market this offseason with a relatively weak quarterback draft class. Other quarterback options through free agency could include veterans Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Tannehill, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco and Blake Bortles.
The timing of each move will matter greatly, as Eliot Schorr-Parks of 94WIP.com points out. Whenever the Eagles officially pick up their end of the option, Foles will have five days to decide if he’d like to buy out his end. (Fortunately for Foles, he earned a pair of $1 million bonuses to cover the buyout at the end of the season.) If he does, the Eagles would have until March 5 to decide if they’d like to slap him with a franchise tag.
However, if Foles accepts the $20 million salary and the Eagles cannot work out a trade, they can cut him by March 18 without taking on any dead money. It would be very challenging for Philly to carry his large salary though since Over The Cap already lists the Eagles as having minus-$18 million in cap space next season, by far the worst situation in football.
This situation is all too familiar for a division rival of the Eagles. When it seemed clear that Kirk Cousins would not be signing a long-term deal last year after multiple franchise tags, the Washington Redskins let him go in free agency and traded for Alex Smith. The Smith trade cost them a third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller, but they also recouped a compensatory third-round pick for the 2018 draft.
The Eagles appear more bold than Washington, which was unwilling to franchise tag Cousins last offseason. Whether or not they will be able to receive more than the Kansas City Chiefs received for Smith remains to be seen.
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