Super Bowl 2018: If Nick Foles manages to win it all, what will the Eagles do with him?
It wasn’t all that long ago, the 2013 season to be exact, when Nick Foles recorded the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history (27-2). These days, the quarterback is only one more win away from becoming a Super Bowl champion.
If that doesn’t sum up 2017, then what does? The Philadelphia Eagles seemed destined for a long-awaited title run when their second-year phenom, Carson Wentz, took the team to nine straight wins and an 11-2 record before injuring his knee, and yet here we are, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady around the corner, and Foles commanding the NFC’s last remaining hope .
Now if Foles has any chance of besting Brady and Belichick on the season’s biggest stage, under the season’s brightest lights, he’ll probably have some help from an.
But let’s say, regardless of how it’s done, for the sake of the argument, Foles does win Super Bowl LII. Let’s say he becomes the first quarterback in Eagles history to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Heck, if you want to get crazy and imagine he even wins Super Bowl MVP or something, go ahead. We’re still left with one burning question.
What happens next?
Find out what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say about the final score of Super Bowl LII.
First, it’s important to note that Wentz isn’t going anywhere. That’s absolutely the most sure thing about the situation. Listen, if Foles actually lights it up against the Patriots and brings Philadelphia a title, he’s going to be adored by Eagles faithful forever, and rightfully so. Without his poise in the NFC Championship, there’s no telling whether the Birds would’ve skated past the Minnesota Vikings the way they did. His contributions look even better if you factor in his training-camp injury and that he really didn’t start fully practicing with the team’s starters until Week 15. But if you’ve already forgotten just how elite Wentz promised to be during his gigantic leap forward in 2017, well, the Eagles have not.
If Foles can win a Super Bowl picking up where Wentz left off, in fact, who’s to say the Eagles wouldn’t be doubly committed to their young signal-caller? Who’s to say their confidence wouldn’t skyrocket knowing that, with Wentz healthy and returned to form, they might have a legitimate shot at chasing more Super Bowls?
All of that is dependent on Wentz recovering from his torn ACL, but all indications are that he’s well on track for an Opening Day return in 2018. And as long as that’s the case, there is simply no way that Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie will turn their back on the most dynamic franchise quarterback they’ve had since Donovan McNabb.
Where does that leave Foles, then?
The backup-turned-postseason hero has already built a storied, if not unusual, career, but it might take another dramatic turn if he ends this season with a Super Bowl win under his belt. Contract-wise, his Eagles deal is essentially a two-year pact that will, but there could obviously be a few teams knocking at Roseman’s door — or blowing up his phone — to gauge Foles’ trade availability beforehand.
One thing to consider is that, entering 2017, Foles did not land a starting opportunity despite several teams needing passers, but as the NFL often proves, things can change in a hurry, especially if a Super Bowl run is involved. Rebuilding clubs like the Arizona Cardinals make for some potential suitors, and Roseman’s reputation for executing trades — he’s made more deals than any other team since first assuming personnel power in 2010 — certainly increases the likelihood of a move.
Foles is hardly the type of personality to demand a trade or a chance to start, even if his release from the then-St. Louis Rams in 2016 came at his request in the wake of Jared Goff’s arrival. The 29-year-old, long noted for his quiet demeanor, not too long ago and talked up 2017 as his chance to really sit back, be a team player and support Wentz. Foles never crowned himself the short- or long-term future at his position, even as he was called upon to fill in for No. 11, always deferring to Wentz as the “guy” for the Eagles organization. It’s a good bet, then, that if a Super Bowl win leads to another blockbuster Roseman deal, Foles won’t necessarily be the guy who forced Philly’s hand.
By the same token, if Foles is content in his current role as nothing more than an injury replacement, albeit one with a potentially star-studded resume, maybe the Eagles would be just as content hanging onto him. They were delighted to find him in free agency to take over for Chase Daniel in the offseason, and they surely couldn’t have expected more than a Super Bowl appearance after turning to him so late in the year. Here lies probably the toughest question for Roseman: Whether or not Foles wins it all, is retaining him as a trusty No. 2 to Wentz more of a risk than selling him at peak trade value? (And here is where it should also be noted that Philadelphia has been quick to praise third-stringer Nate Sudfeld for his development behind Foles.)
The possibilities are endless, and that’s true even with Wentz assured his starting gig upon return. In fact, the possibilities are probably endless even if Foles cannot beat Brady and Belichick, because, let’s face it, he’s already put himself in the NFL’s biggest spotlight entering the offseason.
If Foles’ career up to this point is any indication, there’s quite a few twist and turns still to come.