The plan for Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld if Eagles clinch

The plan for Nick Foles, Nate Sudfeld if Eagles clinch

If the Eagles wind up playing a meaningless game or two, we'll probably see a mixture of Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld at quarterback, head coach Doug Pederson indicated Monday.

The Eagles, 12-2, have clinched a first-round bye and can clinch home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs as early as Saturday, if the Packers beat the Vikings.

If that doesn't happen, they can clinch with a win over the Raiders at the Linc or on the final day of the season with a win over the Cowboys or a Vikings loss to the Bears.

If the Eagles have the No. 1 seed locked up at any point, Pederson will have to figure out a way to balance getting Foles work that he desperately needs after sitting on the bench for most of the last 14 months and also making sure Foles is healthy going into the playoffs.

The only other quarterback on the roster is Sudfeld, who has never played a regular-season snap in the NFL and has never even played in a preseason game for the Eagles.

In 2004, the Eagles clinched home-field with two weeks left, and Andy Reid -- who Pederson played for here and coached under both here and in Kansas City -- rested Donovan McNabb for most of the last two games.

McNabb played one series against the Rams and didn't play at all against the Bengals, and the Eagles suffered blowout losses in both games with Koy Detmer and Jeff Blake at quarterback on their way to the Super Bowl.

But McNabb had been the starter all year and for most of the last six years, since replacing Pederson in 1999. This is a totally different situation, since Foles' start against the Giants was his first in 14 months and first for the Eagles in three years.

Even with Sundays' win against the Giants, he's thrown only 107 passes since November of 2015.

"You want Nick to play as much as you can and get as many reps as you can and let him play and continue to work through some things and work the rapport with the offense and all of that," Pederson said.

Pederson wouldn't say exactly how much Foles would play against the Raiders and Cowboys if the Eagles do clinch Saturday.

"When we win and if we get to cross that bridge, we'll make that decision," Pederson said.

As for Sudfeld, his only NFL experience has been in the preseason with the Redskins the last two years, and obviously the Eagles don't want to go into the postseason with a No. 2 quarterback who's never played a regular-season snap in his life.

As a rookie last year, Sudfeld was 28-for-53 for 238 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in preseason games against the Falcons, Jets and Buccaneers. This past summer, he was 33-for-56 for 360 yards with no TDs or INTs in appearances against the Ravens, Packers and Buccaneers.

His last action was Aug. 31 in Tampa. Four days later, the Redskins released him and the Eagles signed him to the practice squad. They signed him to the 53-man roster last month.

"Ideally, yeah, you'd like to get him some time and some reps here in the next couple of ballgames," Pederson said.

Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

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Forget empty Day 2 of draft, Eagles hoping to find gold in Day 3

The Eagles are scheduled to have a pretty boring Day 2 of the draft this year. Because after they pick at No. 32, they don’t have another selection until the 31st pick of the fourth round. 

That means 98 players will be taken between the Eagles’ first and second picks. And they’ll have to watch other teams pick that entire Friday (Rounds 2-3) without them … unless they make a move. 

“We’re not looking at it like we’re sitting out on Friday,” Eagles de facto GM Howie Roseman said. “We’re going through our draft process looking at every scenario. When we get to Friday, we get to Friday.” 

Even if the Eagles don’t make a move, they’ll be plenty busy Saturday, the final day of the draft. They have two fourth-round picks and one pick in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. 

Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas showed up to his media availability with a stat ready to go to illustrate the importance of Day 3. 

“We’re excited that we have five picks on Saturday,” Douglas said. “When you look at the Super Bowl, there’s 22 starters that were third-round picks or lower. Of those 22, 18 of them were fourth-round picks or lower. So 18 starters in the Super Bowl this year were fourth-round picks or lower, including six of them that were undrafted free agents. We choose to keep the glass half full.” 

Douglas is right on all those stats — 22 of 44 starters in the Super Bowl were drafted in the third or lower and 18 of them would be considered Day 3 picks. Not bad. 

Here’s how the Super Bowl starters broke down by round: 1-10, 2-12, 3-4, 4-4, 5-3, 6-3, 7-2, UDFA-6. 

The Eagles accounted for seven of the 18 players who were drafted in the fourth round or later, so the Patriots were the ones who found even more value late in drafts. And of those seven, just three were original Eagles — Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jason Kelce and Jalen Mills. 

Of the six undrafted players who started in the Super Bowl, two were from the Eagles — LeGarrette Blount and Rodney McLeod. Neither was an original Eagle, but the Birds also relied heavily on running back Corey Clement, who was an undrafted rookie last season. 

With a dearth of high draft picks, it would make sense if the Eagles attack the undrafted market following the draft, but Douglas thinks it won’t be as easy as many might think. 

“You would think because we’re coming off a Super Bowl, we don’t have a second or third round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft,” Douglas said. “But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it’s sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it’s going to be that much tougher to make the team. I think that’s going to be a challenge. I think that’s going to be a challenge for us and we know it and we’re going to attack it.”

The Eagles in recent years have shown a willingness to pony up significant money to entice undrafted players to sign with them, and if Douglas is right, they might need to do it again to land some this year. 

Either way, the Eagles know how important Day 3 and beyond can be. So when they’re bored on Day 2, they don’t plan on losing focus. 

Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

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Eagles reward Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles with reworked contract

The Eagles gave Nick Foles a little raise on Friday, reworking the Super Bowl MVP’s contract, a league source confirmed. 

Basically, the Eagles are rewarding Foles after he helped the franchise win its first-ever Super Bowl a few months ago. 

Foles, 29, is still entering the final year of his contract with the Eagles, but the new deal also includes a mutual option for the 2019 season, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The mutual option will still allow Foles the possibility to test the free agent market next season, but could leave the door open to a possible return beyond this upcoming season. 

Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport from NFL Network first reported the revised contract, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and “several millions in incentives if he’s the starter and hits various benchmarks,” according to Rapoport. 

That part makes a ton of sense. If for some reason Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in 2018 or if he goes down again, Foles will have a chance to earn what might be closer to starter money. 

Foles was set to earn a base salary of $4 million in 2018, with a salary cap hit of $7.6 million on the contract before Friday’s renegotiation. 

Wentz and Foles grew very close last season — third-string QB Nate Sudfeld too — and have both been very selfless in a situation that would be awkward for many others in the league. But both have been incredibly selfless throughout the entire process. Just this week, Wentz admitted he had to fight jealousy but was truly happy for his teammate and friend, who became the Super Bowl hero (see story)

Earlier on Friday, Foles tweeted out this photo with his wife and daughter from the NovaCare Complex. That’s a $2 million smile.