Eagles

Nick Foles' inspirational message in a social media world

Nick Foles' inspirational message in a social media world

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. β€” It speaks volumes about Nick Foles that 11 hours after putting on one of the greatest performances in Philadelphia sports history, Nick Foles stood at a podium, accepted the Super Bowl MVP trophy and spoke about his shortcomings.

This is Nick Foles.

This is why he's special.

Foles continued his torrid postseason Sunday, throwing for 373 yards and three touchdowns and catching a touchdown pass in the Eagles' 41-33 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.

It was a remarkable performance for Foles and continued his wild ride from Eagles Pro Bowler to Rams castoff to Chiefs backup to Eagles backup to Super Bowl champion.

Monday morning, Foles was back at the Mall of America, the Super Bowl headquarters all last week, to accept the MVP trophy.

I asked him what he wants people to take from his journey, from the way he's handled himself, from his ability to shake off some incredible disappointments and even contemplate retirement, from being unwanted by three teams to standing there with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell posing for pictures with the Super Bowl MVP trophy.

Foles' response was incredibly revealing and quite powerful.

"I think the big thing is don't be afraid to fail," Foles said. "I think in our society today, Instagram, Twitter, it's a highlight reel. It's all the good things. And then when you look at it, when you think like, wow, when you have a rough day, 'My life's not as good as that,' (you think) you're failing.

"Failure is a part of life. It's a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn't be up here if I hadn't fallen thousands of times. Made mistakes.

"We all are human, we all have weaknesses, and I think throughout this, (it's been important) to be able to share that and be transparent. I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I'm listening. Because (it) resonates.

"So I'm not perfect. I'm not Superman. I might be in the NFL, I might have just won a Super Bowl, but, hey, we still have daily struggles, I still have daily struggles. And that's where my faith comes in, that's where my family comes in.

"I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that's just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that's just been the message. Simple. If something's going on in your life and you're struggling? Embrace it. Because you're growing."

Foles' postseason was one of the greatest in NFL history. He completed 72.6 percent of his passes (second-highest ever), averaged 324 passing yards per game and threw more touchdowns (6) than he threw in the regular season (1).

His 113.2 career passer rating is highest in NFL postseason history.

The Eagles haven't lost a game that Foles started and finished since 2014.

And he did what Jaws couldn't do, what Randall couldn't do, what Donovan couldn't do.

He delivered a championship to Philadelphia.

Doug Pederson, a backup himself for most of his Eagles career, doubted every step of the way as a coach, can certainly relate to Foles' journey.

"Nick has been the same guy that I can remember who we drafted," he said Monday morning while accepting the Lombardi Trophy from Goodell.

"He doesn't change. He doesn't change at all. The things he did back then when we had him in Philadelphia to today? He's just a better quarterback today, he's a smarter quarterback today, he's a veteran quarterback today.

"But Nick is Nick. He's who he is. You just saw here how genuine he is. I have a lot of guys on that roster that are just like Nick. Very unselfish. Call them role players if you want, call them whatever you want. Call them backups.

"These guys helped us win this championship. My hat's off to Nick for what he's gone through, what he's had to deal (with), what he's had to block out these last two months."

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

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AP Images

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

Several hours after an NJ.com report surfaced that the Eagles were unlikely to re-sign Trey Burton, the tight end denied it on Twitter.

Replying to a tweet about the report from former Eagles teammate Emmanuel Acho, Burton said he hasn't spoken to anyone.

NJ.com's Matt Lombardo reported Friday that the Eagles made Burton an offer that the soon-to-be-free-agent "didn't consider serious."

"We are fully expecting Trey to sign elsewhere," the source said.

It wouldn't be surprising whatsoever if Burton leaves in free agency. A team will likely pay him starter's money and offer him a chance to start, which he doesn't have here with Zach Ertz firmly entrenched.

The Eagles are over the projected salary cap, and while they could create space in numerous ways, they also have to worry about re-signing key linebacker Nigel Bradham.

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

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USA Today Images

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

The Eagles are coming off a thrilling season but there's a lot of work to be done. 

The NFL's new league year begins on March 14 and the Eagles must be under the salary cap by then. The problem is that based on projections, the Eagles are set to be more than $9 million over the cap, according to OverTheCap. So it's time for some maneuvering. 

The good news is that Howie Roseman's specialty has always been finding unique ways to get the Eagles out of cap trouble. There are ways for him to do it again.

Cut Torrey Smith 
Probably the easiest one. Smith was a great teammate and a solid addition to the Eagles' locker room, and he really stepped up his game in the playoffs, but it's probably not enough to bring him back. He just wasn't good enough last season, and cutting him would save the Eagles $5 million in cap room with no dead money. The Birds still have Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, while Mack Hollins is entering Year 2. 

Cut Brent Celek
This one will hurt, but Celek can take away the sting if he decides to walk away as a champion. He's set to have a cap number of $5 million. That's just way too much for what Celek provides these days. By cutting him, the Eagles would save $4 million in cap space. So just between Smith and Celek, the Eagles will almost get back to zero ... but there's other work to do. They'll still need money to sign free agents and draft picks. 

Extend Brandon Graham 
Graham is entering the final year of his contract with a cap number of $8 million. He wants a new contract and deserves one. Good news: An extension would work for both sides. Graham would get more money long-term and the Eagles could get his cap number down this season. 

Re-work/cut Vinny Curry
Curry is coming off of probably his best season in the NFL but will have an $11 million cap number. That's tough to swallow, especially with Derek Barnett waiting for his chance to start. It seems likely the Eagles will ask Curry to take a pay cut or re-work his deal. If not, cutting him would leave $6 million in dead money but would also save $5 million in cap room. 

Trade Mychal Kendricks
If you remember, Kendricks actually wanted a trade last offseason. Good thing that didn't happen. Kendricks ended up being a big part of the Eagles' success in 2017. Depending on what happens with Nigel Bradham in free agency and with Jordan Hicks' Achilles recovery, trading Kendricks might again be an option. A trade would save $4.4 million in cap space. 

Trade Nick Foles 
This is such a tough one -- we explore it more herehttp://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/eagles/stay-or-go-super-bowl-mvp-nick-foles. But basically, Foles is a pretty amazing insurance policy until we know when Carson Wentz is going to be ready. If the Eagles do trade Foles, it would save them $5.2 million that they could certainly use. The problem is that by the time they know Wentz's status, free agency will be long gone and that cap space won't help this year. But it could help in 2019.