Ex-Eagles QB Nick Foles Agrees to 4-Year, $88 Million Contract with Jaguars

Megan ArmstrongContributor III

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts after the NFC Divisional Playoff against the New Orleans Saints  at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars added a new leader under center when they officially signed Nick Foles on Wednesday.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network first reported the agreement on Monday. Adam Schefter of ESPN added that Foles will receive $50.125 million in guaranteed money, with Mike Garafolo of NFL Network noting Foles' deal has a max value of $102 million.

Blake Bortles is expected to be released by the Jaguars after the deal is official, per Rapoport, who said it "will be a few days" before the quarterback is out in Jacksonville.

The signing comes after the Philadelphia Eagles chose not to franchise tag Foles and instead let him enter free agency on Feb. 27. This is not the first time the 30-year-old quarterback has changed teams in his NFL career, but it is his most notable move.

Foles began his career in Philadelphia when the Eagles drafted him in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft. His best season came in 2013, which saw him throw 27 touchdowns opposed to only two interceptions. However, the Eagles traded him away ahead of the 2015 season to the then-St. Louis Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford.

Foles' one season in St. Louis was forgettable, tossing just seven touchdowns and 10 picks in 11 games started. After serving as a backup in Kansas City for the 2016 season, Foles landed back in Philadelphia in 2017—the season that changed everything.

Foles led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title over the New England Patriots in 2017. Not only did he step in for an injured Carson Wentz, but he did so to the tune of Super Bowl MVP. The Eagles rewarded him by restructuring his expiring contract.

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Last season, Foles had to again step in for an injured Wentz. With Foles under center, the Eagles won their final three games of the regular season to squeak into the playoffs, where they upset the Chicago Bears in the Wild Card Round before falling in the divisional round to New Orleans

Even with Foles' recent heroics, etching him into Philadelphia sports lore forever, his production has never jumped off the screen. The NFL is very much a business of "what have you done for me lately?" so it is not at all surprising the Jaguars have decided to take a risk on Foles as their starter moving forward. 

Foles should offer stability for the Jaguars under center, which has been elusive for the franchise since drafting Bortles No. 3 overall in 2014.

However, all of Foles' best seasons have come in Philadelphia. His one-season stint as the starter for the then-St. Louis Rams in 2015 looked a lot like what the Jaguars were getting from Bortles. In 11 games during that 2015 season, Foles tossed 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Jags are clearly banking on the most recent version of Foles showing up in Duval.

Last season, Jacksonville benched Bortles and fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Nov. 26. The offensive unit finished the season ranked No. 27 in total offense. Just one season removed from barely losing the AFC Championship Game to the New England Patriots, 2018 saw Jacksonville sputter to a 5-11 finish.

Even so, the Jags don't need Foles to be a superhero. They need an efficient and consistent signal-caller who opens up the offense for running back Leonard Fournette and offers balance to a defensive unit that ranked fifth in the NFL in total defense during the 2018 regular season. 

Earlier this offseason, Jacksonville hired John DeFilippo as its new offensive coordinator. DeFilippo spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Philadelphia as quarterbacks coach—helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl alongside Foles. The Jaguars should feel optimistic in pairing Foles with the man who has gotten the very most out of him.