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.”

Ronald Darby’s goal is Week 1, knows he needs to stay healthy

Ronald Darby’s goal is Week 1, knows he needs to stay healthy

Ronald Darby tore his ACL on Nov. 11 against the Cowboys, so by the start of the 2019 season, he’ll be just about 10 months removed from the injury. 

His goal is to be ready to play.  

“My rehab is going great right now,” Darby said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m hitting all the marks I need to. My goal is to be back by Week 1.” 

Darby, 25, recently signed a one-year deal to stay in Philadelphia. It’s really a one-year, prove-it deal for the talented young corner, who has missed 15 regular season games over the past two seasons. 

In 2017, Darby missed eight games with a dislocated ankle but returned for the playoffs. 

In 2018, Darby missed seven regular-season games and both playoffs games after tearing his ACL. 

On Tuesday, Darby said he thinks serious injuries in back-to-back seasons affected his value on the free agent market. In 2019, he’ll not only need to play well, but he’ll — more importantly — need to prove he can stay healthy. Darby played in 15 games as a rookie and 14 games in his second NFL season, both in Buffalo before the trade to the Eagles in 2017. 

Of course it’s been real frustrating. I never got hurt like this before until I got to Philly. So this was new. Everything was new to me. But I’ve been playing football since I was 8 years old. I’ve just got to have a healthy season. … This year, I’m gonna go out there, have a healthy season, compete and play hard.

If all goes well for Darby in 2019, he’ll be in line for a major contract this time next year. He said he would “love” to be back with the Eagles, but we’ll see where both sides of the negotiating table are after the 2019 season. 

“I always wanted to be back, of course,” Darby said. “It’s hard to walk away from a place like this.”

The move to bring back Darby was slightly surprising given that the Eagles seem to have a defensive back room stocked with young, cheap talent. But after they were decimated by injuries in 2018, they will at least have the luxury of depth for this coming season. In addition to Darby, they still have Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox and Cre’Von LeBlanc under contract. 

Darby said he thinks the talent in the defensive backs room should breed a lot of competition. That would be ideal. But the Eagles are paying him like a starter, so he needs to be that for them in 2019. If he does, and if he can stay healthy, he’ll earn himself some serious coin this time next year. 

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DeSean Jackson’s 3-year deal includes manageable cap number in 2019

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DeSean Jackson’s 3-year deal includes manageable cap number in 2019

DeSean Jackson’s three-year contract with the Eagles is structured similarly to Malik Jackson’s deal, with an option bonus that alters the Year 2 base salary and two fake years that defer the cap hit, according to a league source familiar with the details of the contract.

Most importantly, it includes a manageable cap hit of just $3.164 million this year.

Because of the option bonus, Jackson’s deal can operate either as a two-year, $18 million contract or a three-year, $27 million deal.

The main component of the deal regardless of its duration is a $7.17 million signing bonus that Jackson receives now as part of $17 million in guaranteed money. 

There are also $400,000 roster bonuses each year from 2019 through 2021 payable as weekly $25,000 bonuses for each week he’s on the team. There are also $400,000 annual workout bonuses.

All the bonuses count against the cap except $100,000 of the 2019 roster bonus, which is considered not likely to be earned, since Jackson missed four games last year.

As a three-year deal, Jackson has base salaries of $1.03 million in 2019, $6.2 million in 2020 and $8.2 million in 2021, with cap figures of $3.164 million this year, $8.934 million next year and $10.934 million in 2021.

The contract includes a $2 million option bonus for 2021 that they would need to exercise in 2020. If they pay Jackson the bonus, it would remain a three-year contract and would add $500,000 in pro-rated bonus money per year starting in 2020.

If they decide not to pay the option bonus, the $2 million is added to Jackson’s 2020 base salary, increasing it from $6.2 million to $8.2 million.

In that event, his 2019 cap figure would remain $3.164 million, but his 2020 cap figure would increase $10.434, since it would include the entire option bonus as part of his new base salary.

In that case, Jackson would become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season.

This contract structure essentially protects the Eagles from having to release players and give them a chance to gain compensatory picks by making them unrestricted free agents.

But it also protects the player because in the event he doesn’t get the bonus, he still gets the money.

The two fake years at the end of the contract serve to defer the cap hit beyond this year.  

The signing bonus pro-rates to $1.434 million per year, so if this ends up being a two-year deal, it adds up to $4.302 million in dead money in 2021 — three years worth of pro-rated signing bonus — and if it’s a three-year deal, it adds up to $3.868 million in dead money in 2022 — two years worth of pro-rated signing bonus ($2.868 million) and two years of the pro-rated option bonus at $500,000 per year ($1 million).

Jackson, 32, enters his 11th NFL season with 589 catches for 10,261 yards and 53 touchdowns. His 17.4 yards-per-catch is highest in the NFL in the last 25 years, and his 24 touchdowns of 60 yards or more are most in NFL history.

After spending his first six seasons with the Eagles, he spent three with the Redskins and two with the Buccaneers before the Eagles traded for him last week and gave him this new contract.

Jackson had one year remaining on his contract with the Bucs paying him $10 million for 2019.

In the trio of Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Jackson, the Eagles are paying $22.16 million in base salary in 2019 with a combined cap hit of $27.27 million. 

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