This has felt like a foregone conclusion for over a week, but the Jaguars will sign free agent quarterback Nick Foles, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). And it is a huge deal, as RapSheet tweets that the former Super Bowl MVP will land a four-year, $88MM pact from Jacksonville. Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network adds that the deal maxes out at a whopping $102MM (Twitter link), but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that “only” $50.125MM is guaranteed.
After months of discussion as to how the Eagles would handle Foles’ contract, Philadelphia elected to not hit him with the franchise tag once he bought his way into free agency. Teams like Jacksonville who were interested in Foles did not really engage the Eagles in trade talks prior to that decision, as they never expected Philly to tag him in the first place.
The Giants were also rumored to have some interest in their former division rival, but the Jags seemed to be the clear favorites all along. Jacksonville’s quarterback situation has long been a hot topic of conversation, especially after the Blake Bortles extension predictably backfired. And in case you couldn’t hear it over all of the rejoicing in Florida, we just learned that Bortles has been cut.
Foles, 30, spent the bulk of his career as a backup, but wound up as the Super Bowl MVP following the 2017 season in one of the best feel-good stories of the century. He was once again called upon in 2018 as Carson Wentz was sidelined by injury. He went 4-1 in his five starts and completed 72.3% of his passes, his highest mark in any of his NFL seasons. He also threw for seven touchdowns against four interceptions.
He is not perfect by any means, but he should be an improvement over Bortles, and despite a recent batch of cost-cutting moves, the Jags hope that their core is strong enough to make another run at the playoffs after a disappointing 2018 campaign.