The biggest question for the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the offseason is the future of quarterback Nick Foles, who led the team to a Super Bowl title last season and a playoff berth this year after starter Carson Wentz was hurt in each season.
While it seems likely that Foles will be quarterbacking a different team next season, he said Monday he's keeping his options open, according to Dave Spadaro of the team's website:
"Yeah, we'll see what happens in the future. Once again, I'm not gonna speculate on that," he added, per Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic. "But yeah, I love leading a team. I love being in the huddle, being a part of a locker room, doing that, that's why I play the game."
On Sunday, however, it felt like Foles said goodbye to the city of Philadelphia in his post-game comments (h/t Reuben Frank of NBC Sports):
"The big thing is what the city means to me. It's always welcomed me and my family. It's really been a joy to live there and wear the green and wear the jersey. No matter what, you can't ever take that away. We were able to do some really special things. We'll see what happens, but I'll tell you this, I've enjoyed every single moment and (Philadelphia) will always have a special place in my heart. The city, the fans, the people, everything about it. There's nothing like playing in the Linc in front of the crowd. It's some of my favorite moments. My family got to experience them, my daughter got to experience them. We'll see what happens, but I've enjoyed everything."
And on Monday, it sure sounded like Eagles head coach Doug Pederson offered his own public goodbye to Foles on WIP's Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team (h/t Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports):
"I can't say enough good things about Nick. For him to come here and be the backup behind Carson and then to do the things he's done the last two years, like I said I can't thank him enough. He's a pro's pro. He's a great human being, great leader in the locker room. He'll always be remembered in Philadelphia for bringing a Super Bowl to this city. So, a lot of great things for him and we've got these next few weeks, few months to make some tough decision, but we'll make them at that point."
The Eagles are going to have three options this offseason. They can decline his option for 2019, allowing him to become a free agent, pick up his option with the desire to keep him or pick up his option with the desire to trade him.
Even if they pick up the option to keep him, however, Foles will have the option to decline the option, albeit at a cost. In that case, the Eagles could then slap the franchise tag on him. But it's hard to imagine the team spending over $20 million for a backup quarterback, especially since Pederson has reiterated frequently that Wentz remains the team's franchise quarterback.
Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt
Nick Foles contract details: -Eagles must decide by 30 days before League Year (approx Feb 12) whether to exercise option for $20M salary; -If Eagles exercise, Foles has 5 days to pay $2M to void, become FA; -If not voided, $20M becomes fully guaranteed 5th day of League Year.
So the most likely option seems to be that the Eagles will pick up the option or use the franchise tag on Foles in an effort to trade him, hoping a quarterback-needy team that wants a veteran, plug-and-play option like Foles will offer up a first- or second-round picks to acquire him.
There are plenty of teams that would almost assuredly have interest in Foles, who would be the best veteran option on the quarterback market this offseason. It's fair to question if Foles would have the same level of success in another system—he was mostly a career backup before his second tenure in Philadelphia—but other teams may take that risk, hoping to tap into that Foles magic.
So even if the Eagles and Foles decide to part ways, how precisely they do so will be interesting to watch this offseason.