Nick Foles Reportedly Traded from Jaguars to Bears for 4th-Round Comp. Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 01: Nick Foles #7 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on during the second quarter of game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TIAA Bank Field on December 01, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
James Gilbert/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars are trading quarterback Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Jacksonville will receive Chicago's compensatory fourth-round pick.

Foles was one of the top quarterbacks on the free-agent market last year, and he parlayed that status into a four-year, $88 million deal with the Jaguars.

Jacksonville reached the AFC title game in 2017 before losing 11 games in 2018. The Jaguars sought to upgrade from Blake Bortles at quarterback, and signing Foles was the most straightforward option.

Things quickly unraveled, though.

Foles underwent surgery last September after breaking his clavicle in Week 1. He returned to the field in November but was benched for backup Gardner Minshew II in his third start back. All told, the 31-year-old threw for 736 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in four games.

ESPN's Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler reported in March the Jaguars were open to trading Foles because they were prepared to build the offense around Minshew. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network followed up to report that teams were reaching out to Jacksonville about acquiring the 2013 Pro Bowler:

Foles' departure continues what has been a steady teardown of the Jaguars roster, particularly the players responsible for the success the team enjoyed in 2017.

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If the Jags aren't in rebuilding mode, then they're at least in a period of transition. By virtue of trading Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams in October, they have two first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, which allows general manager David Caldwell to reshape the squad.

Pivoting to Minshew full-time fits with that plan but comes with some risk.

Through his first five games as Minshew Mania swept across the country, he threw for 1,279 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception. Over his subsequent nine appearances, the former Washington State star threw for 1,992 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing only 57.4 percent of his passes.

Jacksonville can use the 2020 season to determine whether Minshew is the long-term solution at quarterback. If not, it will have the draft ammunition to target a signal-caller in 2021.

Foles left the Philadelphia Eagles with the goal of proving himself as a starter. He was unable to achieve that in 2019, but now he's set to challenge Mitchell Trubisky for the lead role in Chicago.

Foles' second run with the Eagles showed how valuable he can be. Philadelphia's Super Bowl run in 2017 wouldn't have happened if he hadn't filled in so well for Carson Wentz and gotten hot in the playoffs.

Even though Trubisky is only set to enter his fourth season in the league, Chicago is approaching a crossroads with him.

The No. 2 overall pick in 2017 threw for 3,138 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2019, regressing from his Pro Bowl campaign in 2018.

ESPN's Ed Werder reported Monday the Bears were looking to add Foles or Andy Dalton, which spoke volumes about how the front office viewed Trubisky.

Chicago wasn't going to head into another year with a career backup such as Chase Daniel as the only alternative.

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