Eagles

Contemplating retirement best thing to happen to Nick Foles

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Contemplating retirement best thing to happen to Nick Foles

It was less than two years ago when Nick Foles thought about retiring from football. He seriously contemplated, at 26, walking away from a game he's played his whole life, a game he loves.

On Sunday, he'll play for the chance to play on football's greatest stage. 

After a disappointing 2015 season with the Rams, Foles was eventually granted his release from the organization on July 27, 2016. Before he signed with the Chiefs on Aug. 3, Foles did some serious soul-searching. 

During that week, he spent time talking to his wife Tori and then he leaned on his Christian faith to come up with his answer. 

"I literally said a prayer," Foles said, "and my heart said go back." 

Foles reunited with Andy Reid, the guy who drafted him in 2012 out of Arizona, and he said that decision made him a better person. After the Chiefs didn't pick up his option last offseason, Foles came back to Philadelphia where his career started and once hit its highest peak. He came back in a different role, obviously, as Carson Wentz's backup. But things happen and ACLs sometimes tear. The Eagles are now relying on Foles as their starting quarterback. 

Now, thanks to his choice to re-find happiness in football, Foles is one win away from playing in the Super Bowl. 

"It wasn't an easy decision," Foles said on Wednesday. "It's not like it was 100 percent, but my faith and my guidance and the way I felt like going into that experience allowed me to grow to make me a better player now because you experience those emotions, you go through that. I mean, it's an emotional thing. It's something I've done my entire life, and to go through that and make that decision, that wasn't easy.

"But I leaned on my wife, I leaned on my family and I leaned on my faith in those moments, and I'm very grateful I made the decision I did and we made it together."

The fact that Foles will start in the NFC Championship Game against his former teammate Case Keenum isn't lost on him. Both have been benched, turned into backups, thrown into the trash heap and now resurrected. 

He said the biggest message to take from it is to never give up on yourself. While Foles almost gave up on football, he never gave up on himself. 

Foles calls the week he spent contemplating his football future the best thing that ever happened to him. He knows he's not the only NFL player who felt that way or questioned whether or not they should walk away. 

"We're professional athletes and we have moments where we step back and we have to think and assess everything in life," Foles said. "Like I have a family, I have a wife, I have a daughter, I have a dog. I have to step back and focus on that because that's so important to me. 

"I'm so fortunate that I have my wife there to talk these things through and in these moments where we're playing for this Championship Game, like you do reflect. A few days ago, you just sit there, and I sat there with my wife and we just talked about how blessed we are to be in this moment.

"But I know where my heart is and my heart was all being in Philly, being with these guys, going out there on the field, like stepping in the huddle and knowing that each guy is playing for each other, that's a special thing and that's been the testament of this season. And you know it's an honor and blessing to be here and play in this game."

A backup again? Life after Super Bowl has Nick Foles more than happy

A backup again? Life after Super Bowl has Nick Foles more than happy

The question to Nick Foles was how long did it take to fully understand exactly what he had accomplished.

For the reality to really hit him.

“Still working on it,” he said. “You know, I don’t know if it’ll ever really set in. I don’t know if it’s ever really meant to.”

Foles, who replaced an injured Carson Wentz in December and then led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship with a record-setting postseason performance, met with the Philly media Tuesday for the first time since the Wednesday after the Super Bowl and spoke about what the last few months has meant to him.

“To be part of and to do it in the city of Philadelphia with the guys I did it with after everything that had gone on, it’s something that’s very humbling and very special,” he said. “I feel undeserving to be a part of it.

“There’s times where I wake up and I’ll walk in [the next room] and see the banner and I’m like, ‘Wow, did that really happen?'"

Foles completed an NFL postseason-record 73 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and one interception that plopped right out of Alshon Jeffery’s hands during playoff wins over the Falcons, Vikings and Patriots.

At some point, he’ll go back to backing up Wentz and next year he’ll likely be starting somewhere else. But he said Tuesday he’s not thinking about the future right now. He’s just grateful to be an Eagle.

“I look in my locker and I see the Eagles colors in my locker and part of me is like, ‘I’m a part of the Philadelphia Eagles,’ because once I wasn’t here,” he said. “So I’m still adjusting to all that.

“It’s really special for the city and it was really special for me to be a part of it. It’s really special for everyone in that locker room. It will be forever.

“I’ve run into so many people across the country — because I live in California in the offseason, that’s where my wife’s from, that’s probably where we’ll raise our kids — and still there’s Eagles fans everywhere.

“Grown men coming up to me at dinner when I’m with my father, pretty macho guys, that all of a sudden break down crying and you see the emotion and the heart of it.

“They’ve waited their whole life, their father waited his whole life, their grandmother, and I know when we won the game all of us in this locker room realized this, and that’s why it was so special, because we did it in such a unique, special city.

“That’s why like when everyone wants to talk about, ‘Hey, do you want to go start [somewhere else]?’ Yeah, I have aspirations to lead a team.

“Do I wish I could play my whole career here? Absolutely. But I know the situation and I am grateful to be in this locker room at this moment to be here because I genuinely do love the city.”

Brandon Brooks restructuring deal for Nick Foles a 'no-brainer'

Brandon Brooks restructuring deal for Nick Foles a 'no-brainer'

A few days ago, the Eagles and Nick Foles agreed to rework his contract.

The restructured deal included a $2 million signing bonus and incentives based on whether Foles starts and reaches certain goals, plus a mutual option for 2019 (see story). Monday, it became clearer how the Eagles were able to get Foles more money up front when Pro Bowl offensive guard Brandon Brooks tweeted this:


Brooks restructured his current deal last Friday to help out his quarterback (see story)

NBC Sports Philadelphia had Brooks and RT Lane Johnson on Quick Slants Monday. Brooks had this to say about the restructure and his tweet:

Whenever it comes to a restructure, I just wanted to throw it out there — one, to clarify as far as exactly what happened and then two, probably the most important thing is look at what Nick did. I literally did whatever it took to get him extra money. I mean, everything he’s done for us as a team, for us as a city. The Super Bowl MVP. You know, going out there, launching that thing every week. The leader he is. The high character guy he is. And when they approached me about it, it was kind of like, 'Nah,' but then after understanding it was for Nick Foles, then I said, 'Without question, let’s go ahead and get it done.' He deserves it, he brought the first championship to the city, so it was a no-brainer, without question for me.

Brooks' close friend and linemate Johnson added:

The man was thrown into the fire and came out on top. I mean, he was really thrown into a tough situation and only had two weeks the last part of the season to kind of get in a rhythm, and you know how those games went. The guy went out there and delivered. I’m just so proud of him. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. We’re all happy for him.

As it gets closer to the 2018 NFL draft, the rumors continue to swirl that Foles could be traded. If it happens, a number of his teammates have told me Foles deserves his own team.

Will Foles be in Eagles green come September? Only time will tell, but whether he’s here or elsewhere, Foles will always have the respect and admiration from a group of guys who completed a magical season.