Nick Foles

NFC Notes: Burton, Foles, Saints, Floyd

Trey Burton has been a quality under-the-radar performer for the Eagles this season and he could find himself with a very robust market entering free agency this offseason, opines Mike Garafolo of NFL.com in a video on Twitter.

Burton, 26, has produced solid numbers as the backup to one of the best tight ends in the game in Zach Ertz. However, the former undrafted free agent has stepped up when Ertz has been banged up. Garafolo notes that Burton has caught three touchdown passes in the last two games, when Ertz has not been 100%.

Coming from the University of Florida, Burton didn’t really have a position entering the draft, but has seemingly found a role as a versatile tight end/receiver in the Philadelphia offensive scheme. The tight end market is not very deep either, with their being a noticeable dip after the likes of Jimmy Graham and Tyler Eifert. Given his recent play, you can expect Burton could be a name that gets more money than you may expect given his relative lack of a track record.

Let’s take a look at more notes throughout the NFC:

  • Nick Foles led the Eagles to victory over the Giants in his first start since Carson Wentz was lost for the season. It was an encouraging performance for the former third round pick, who pondered retirement just two years ago, reports Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. It was after the 2015 season when the quarterback really gave some thought to hanging it up. “Yes, I sat there and talked with my wife,” Foles said. “You go through a lot of emotions. Changing teams, being traded, going there, going through that year, and once I was a free agent, we just sort of sat there and said, ‘Hey what do we want to do?'” Nick Foles eventually decided to stay in the league and was a backup for a season in Kansas City before making his way to the Eagles this past offseason. Foles has a bit of a track record in the league and is looking to continue to build on his rebound story in the playoffs.
  • The Saints lost a few players to injury during their win over the Jets on Sunday afternoon. Guard Larry Warford and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui both were forced to leave the game with concussions, according to Joel Erickson of The New Orleans Advocate. Erickson adds that guard Andrus Peat was also active to start the contest, but was held out because of a groin injury. He was available in an emergency role, with backup guards Senio Kelemete and Josh LeRibeus taken the starting sports when both starting offensive lineman were unable to play. Hopefully all three players will recover fully for the team’s critical Week 16 affair against the Falcons. The game will have major implications to who ultimately will win the ultra-competitive NFC South.
  • Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd expressed that he is more at peace and hopes to be back in Minnesota next year, in a deep diving piece from Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “I would like to stay here, for sure,” Floyd said. “I love this place.” While the former Cardinals and Pats wideout has seemingly got his life together, it’s an uphill battle considering the quality depth of the position on the team, which includes Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell and Jarius Wright.

NFC East Notes: Cousins, Foles, Cowboys

The record-setting contract extension the Lions awarded quarterback Matthew Stafford on Monday will raise Redskins signal-caller Kirk Cousins‘ asking price and make it even more difficult for the team to re-sign him at season’s end, Mike Jones of the Washington Post points out. With Cousins scheduled to hit free agency next winter, the Redskins could place the franchise tag on him for a third straight year if there’s no deal in place prior to free agency, but that would mean guaranteeing him upward of $34MM. Jones expects the Redskins to apply the transition tag for a lesser cost – $28MM – and ultimately lose Cousins to a team willing to give him a massive long-term deal. The Redskins wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation in that scenario.

More from the NFC East:

  • Eagles quarterback Nick Foles hasn’t taken the field this preseason because of an elbow injury. Specifically, Foles has a flexor strain and inflammation around a nerve in his right elbow, a source told Les Bowen of Philly.com. While the source indicated that Foles had the same problem during his time with the Chiefs last year, it won’t affect his place on the Eagles’ roster or his regular-season availability, Bowen notes. The plan remains for him to back up Carson Wentz beginning in Week 1.
  • Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers has been dealing with a concussion for two weeks and could head to injured reserve as a result, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. An IR placement for Gathers would keep him out of game action for at least the first eight weeks of the season and deprive Dallas of a burgeoning weapon. The former Baylor basketball player and 2016 sixth-round pick was a shoo-in to make the Cowboys’ 53-man roster prior to his injury, Davison relays. Gathers’ absence would leave the Cowboys with the experienced James Hanna as their No. 2 tight end behind Jason Witten, though he’s coming off a season lost to injuries and isn’t a receiving threat.
  • Owner Jerry Jones says that Jaylon Smith will have an “accelerated approach” towards the upcoming season (Twitter link via Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram). That’s a departure in philosophy from before, when Jones said the team would be deliberate in its approach with the Notre Dame product.
  • Tight end Will Tye, defensive ends Kerry Wynn and Romeo Okwara, wide receiver Dwayne Harris, kicker Aldrick Rosas and offensive lineman D.J. Fluker aren’t sure bets to make the Giants’ roster and could be on the block, James Kratch of NJ.com observes. Although, given that trades in the NFL are rare and nobody from that group holds much appeal, Kratch doesn’t expect Big Blue to make any deals in the coming days.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

West Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Chiefs, Hawks

The Broncos want to bring in a third quarterback, but that player is likely to be either a young veteran or a draft pick, head coach Vance Joseph tells Mike Klis of 9News (Twitter links). Denver is apparently content to allow Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch battle it out for the starting QB job, meaning any new addition would be a third-stringer. Tony Romo, meanwhile, is looking like less of an option, as the Broncos are reportedly backing off their pursuit of the Cowboys signal-caller.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • After losing defensive tackle Stacy McGee in free agency, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie admits his team may bring in another piece up front, as Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Currently, Oakland boasts Khalil Mack, Jihad Ward, Dan Williams, Mario Edwards, restricted free agent Denico Autry, and others along the defensive line. Johnathan Hankins, Jared Odrick, and Vance Walker rank as PFR’s best remaining interior defenders.
  • The Chiefs‘ decision to decline their option on backup quarterback Nick Foles was purely cap-related, head coach Andy Reid tells Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Foles’ 2017 option was worth $6.75MM, an untenable figure for the Chiefs given that even now they only have $3MM in cap space. While Foles has since signed a two-year, $11MM with the Eagles, Kansas City currently has Tyler Bray behind starting quarterback Alex Smith.
  • Although Seahawks corner Pierre Desir had an opportunity to sign with the Lions last season, he opted to stick on Seattle’s practice squad and has since been re-signed on a futures deal, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (all Twitter links). Seahawks general manager John Schneider pointed to Desir, Neiko Thorpe, and Tampa Bay import Bradley McDougald as key depth pieces that can fill out the secondary.
  • Free agent signee Oday Aboushi will begin his Seahawks tenure at right guard, which means Seattle is set to try 2016 first-round pick Germain Ifedii at right tackle, tweets Condotta. Ifedi played tackle at Texas A&M, but shifted to right guard during his rookie campaign. The results were near disastrous, as Ifedi graded as the single worst guard in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus.

Contract Details: Foles, Carr, Poe, Cowboys

Here’s a fun fact from Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter links): Of the 155 free-agent contracts that have been filed since March 9, only 23 have more than $3MM fully guaranteed in post-2017 money. In essence, that means 85.2% of the contracts done over the last ten days are one-year deals with team options.

Now for the latest contract details:

  • Cornerback Brandon Carr‘s four-year, $23MM Ravens contract comes with $6MM in 2017 – most of which is by way of a $4MM signing bonus – and then the Ravens will have a 2018 team option, reports Breer (on Twitter).
  • Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe‘s one-year, $8MM accord features a $500K signing bonus and incentives for playing time, sacks and a Pro Bowl appearance (Twitter link via Breer).
  • Quarterback Nick Folespreviously reported two-year, $11MM deal with the Eagles is actually a five-year, $27.5MM pact, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. However, the final three years of the contract will void if Foles is still on Philadelphia’s roster 23 days before the start of the 2019 league year. The arrangement comes with $5MM in incentives and an esclator for 2018 worth as much as $6MM (Twitter links).
  • Panthers defensive tackle Kyle Love‘s two-year contract is worth $2.2MM and features a few bonuses – $200K for signing, $25K for workouts and $10K per game active – as well as $500K in annual incentives, tweets Wilson.
  • Cowboys running back Darren McFadden‘s one-year contract is a minimum salary benefit deal worth $980K (a salary of $900K and an $80K signing bonus). Guard Jonathan Cooper‘s single-year accord is worth $2MM and has a $31,250 bonus per game active, $500K in incentives and a $100K workout base de-esclator (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Cardinals running back/wide receiver Andre Ellington will earn a $775K base salary on his one-year agreement, tweets Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910.
  • Redskins defensive tackle Ziggy Hood’s two-year, $2.7MM deal includes a $300K signing bonus, per-game active bonuses of $15,625 each, $600K in incentives and a $600K escalator. Meanwhile, the Redskins gave linebacker Chris Carter a minimum salary benefit deal worth $855K, including $775K in salary and a signing bonus of $80K, relays Wilson (Twitter links).
  • Saints running back Travaris Cadet also got a minimum salary benefit contract for 2017, says Wilson (Twitter link). It’s worth $855K ($775K in salary and an $80K signing bonus).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

South Rumors: Bucs, Colts, Jaguars, Saints

The Buccaneers made a “strong push” for quarterback Nick Foles before he signed with the Eagles, tweets Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, who last week reported mutual interest between Tampa Bay and Foles. Foles ended up inking a two-year, $11MM deal with Philadelphia that includes $7MM guaranteed. The Bucs could conceivably target another veteran backup quarterback, or simply roll with Ryan Griffin, whom they tendered at the original round level as a restricted free agent.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Although one report indicated Darius Butler had reached a contract impasse with the Colts, the free agent defensive back could still return to Indianapolis, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. Butler, who turns 31 this week, plans to transition to safety full-time in 2017 after dabbling at the position last year. PFR’s No. 4 free agent safety, Butler met with the Bears last week.
  • Although they missed out on the top free agent guard options, the Jaguars are still examining the offensive line market, as Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com writes. Jacksonville, of course, acquired left tackle Branden Albert from the Dolphins earlier this offseason, but still have a hole at left guard, where Patrick Omameh is currently projected to start. The Jags did sign former Cardinal Earl Watford to a two-year deal, but given that he’s best viewed as a reserve, the club may still bring in another interior lineman, either via the second wave of free agency or the draft.
  • The Saints aren’t all that intrigued by free agent wide receiver Andrew Hawkins after “kicking the tires” on him, tweets Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. Hawkins, 31, was released by the Browns last month after three seasons with the club. Though he’s struggled over the past two years, Hawkins posted 63 receptions as recently as 2014.

Eagles Sign QB Nick Foles

The Eagles are reuniting with quarterback Nick Foles. It’s a two-year, $11MM deal with $7MM guaranteed, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Nick Foles (vertical)

Foles now returns to the place where he first (and last) found NFL success. This time, however, he won’t be starting. He’ll serve as a backup for rising sophomore Carson Wentz. With five years of NFL experience, Foles should be able to impart some wisdom on the youngster. He’ll also be able to take over in the event of an injury and on paper he is probably one of the league’s better No. 2 QBs.

The acquisition of Foles may mean that Chase Daniel is on the verge of getting traded. Daniel has been in trade rumors for weeks now and neither he nor Foles would be happy as the third quarterback on the depth chart. Daniel, entering his age-31 season, still doesn’t have a major body of work to show teams, but he is well respected in the league and could net the Eagles a draft pick.

Foles, 28, appeared in three games for the Chiefs in 2016 (one start), completing 36 of 55 attempts for 410 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. While his single start was an impressive showing, it’s been a while since he’s played that well in a larger sample size. After tossing 27 touchdowns with the Eagles in 2013, Foles’ next two campaigns were middling, and he wasn’t able to keep his starting job with the Rams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mutual Interest Between Nick Foles, Bucs

The Buccaneers are eyeing Nick Foles, reports Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds the interest is mutual. Tampa Bay is in the market for a new backup quarterback after Mike Glennon signed with the Bears on Thursday.Nick Foles (vertical)

Foles, 28, appeared in three games for the Chiefs in 2016 (one start), completing 36 of 55 attempts for 410 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. While his single start was an impressive showing, Foles lacks a history of solid play. After tossing 27 touchdowns with the Eagles in 2013, Foles’ next two campaigns were middling, and he wasn’t able to keep his starting job with the Rams.

Kansas City officially declined its 2017 option on Foles yesterday, and he’s already been linked to the Vikings since that time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agency Rumors: Titans, Hightower, Rams

Let’s round up some of the latest free agency rumors:

  • The talk of the Titans pursuing linebacker Dont’a Hightower might not be at the levels some have reported, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets. Hightower stands as one of the best free agents left on the board.
  • Not a huge surprise, but the Rams are not expected to bring back safety T.J. McDonald, ESPN.com’s Alden Gonzalez writes. I have McDonald ranked as the No. 40 free agent on my Top 50 list, in terms of earning power. He’s not my favorite safety in this year’s free agent crop, but he is young and his hard-hitting style should translate into dollars.
  • Despite formally declining his option on Thursday, the Chiefs have expressed interest in retaining quarterback Nick Foles, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets.
  • There are still plenty of teams sorting through the offensive tackle market, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. That list includes the ChargersJets, Vikings, Giants, and Broncos. It should be noted that JLC’s tweet came before Denver’s acquisition of Ronald Leary. It’s not immediately clear if they’re still looking for high-end linemen.
  • Russell Okung probably goofed by not having an agent last offseason, but he has one now, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter links). Cole does not identify the rap by name, but says that he has talked with teams and is not NFLPA-certified.
  • Packers free agent guard T.J. Lang is likely going to have to take some trips before signing, Cole tweets. He had hip surgery in January and teams want to check that out before signing him. This jibes with earlier word that Lang will have to wait a bit before signing elsewhere.

Chiefs Officially Decline Nick Foles’ Option

As expected, the Chiefs officially declined Nick Foles‘ option today, making him a free agent (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). If the Eagles move Chase Daniel, he adds, a return to the Eagles should not be ruled out. Nick Foles (vertical)

The Eagles missed out on one nostalgia opportunity when DeSean Jackson signed with the Buccaneers, but they could bring back a familiar face in Foles. Daniel, reportedly, has been garnering trade interest for the last couple of weeks. Foles could be then be the new guy to serve as the backup and mentor for Carson Wentz. Foles had his breakout year in 2013 under Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, but he has yet to have another year in that mold.

Foles, at worst, could be a solid backup somewhere and could maybe serve as a one-year transitional option for a QB-needy and cash-strapped club (Jets, we’re looking at you). Foles’ declined option was for $6.4MM and it’s a safe bet that he’ll make less on his next deal.

Last year, Foles appeared in three games and got one start while Alex Smith was sidelined. In that limited sample, he completed 65.5% of his passes while throwing three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Vikings Interested In Nick Foles?

The Vikings are a possible landing spot for quarterback Nick Foles, a source tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Foles isn’t technically a free agent just yet, but the Chiefs are fully expected to decline his 2017 option this week.Nick Foles (vertical)

It’s no surprise that Minnesota would express interest in Foles, as they reportedly pursued him last year at this time after he was released by the Rams. The question becomes, then, whether Foles would be willing to go the Vikings, where he’d presumably be a clear-cut backup behind Sam Bradford. Foles, PFR’s No. 2 free agent quarterback, might be able to sign with a club that’s willing to let him compete for a starting role, an opportunity he won’t be afforded with the Vikes.

The Vikings’ dalliance with Foles could indicate a negative outlook on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, however, as conflicting reports emerged earlier this year about the former first-round pick’s health. Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury last summer, and while it’s possible he’ll miss the 2017 season, the Vikings haven’t issued their own update on Bridgewater’s status.

Veteran quarterback Shaun Hill, who served as Bradford’s backup in 2016, is also an unrestricted free agent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.