The NFL offseason is now officially underway after the Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots in a 41-33 classic Super Bowl 52.
After Carson Wentz tore his ACL in December, no one really expected the Eagles to be a serious threat to win it all but their defense and the surprising postseason performance from backup quarterback Nick Foles led them to their first Lombardi trophy.
Foles in three postseason games completed 72.6% of his attempts for 971 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception against Atlanta, Minnesota and New England.
He capped off his spectacular postseason with a 373 yard, three touchdown performance in the Super Bowl. Foles also had a receiving touchdown and won MVP honors for the game.
The question looming for Eagles fans is what will be Foles’ fate this offseason once Wentz returns from injury. The team expects Wentz will be ready for the 2018 season opener in September.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that the Eagles are expected to receive trade interest in Foles this offseason and with multiple teams needing a quarterback including the Cleveland Browns, it could turn into a bidding war.
Outside of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, Foles will be the best veteran option among the players that will be available in either free agency or trade.
Cleveland, Denver, Buffalo, Minnesota, Arizona, and the New York Jets are teams that will be looking for quarterbacks this offseason.
The Browns are expected to add a veteran “bridge” type quarterback to start for the the 2018 season and perhaps 2019 while the rookie they take at the top of the draft sits and develops and also help mentor second year quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Foles will not cost a team financially as he’s due $7.6 million for the 2018 including a $3 million roster bonus.
He also has three additional years at $6.1 million each but they will void if Foles is on the roster at the 23rd day of the 2019 league year.
Now Philadelphia doesn’t have to trade Foles but with their current situation with the salary cap could force them to move Foles to create cap space.
The question becomes: what would the Browns have to give up in a trade to acquire Foles?
With Foles performance, i think the Eagles will ask for a high draft choice despite Foles only having one year left on his contract. I think they could get a second or third round draft choice.
The Browns own the Eagles second round pick in this year’s draft from the Carson Wentz which will be the last pick of the second round (64th overall).
I think that would be perfect compensation in a trade as the Browns own two second round picks (33 & 35) and they have the top pick in the third round (65).
I would also give Foles a short term extension (two years) with a pay raise of ($12-15 million per season). He could come in and be the bridge quarterback for whoever the Browns will draft in April and give the team a quarterback capable of leading the team to wins.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley could insert some of those RPO (run/pass/option) plays that Eagles coach Doug Pederson inserted into his offense during the first round bye to help Foles more comfortable in the offense and to perform at the level he did in 2013 when he threw 27 touchdowns in ten games in Chip Kelly’s offense.
It may not even be a possible outcome but if he becomes available, the Browns need to seriously pursue Foles.