NEW ORLEANS — It was hard to miss the fact that Nick Foles kept using the past tense when talking about his Eagles career.
Every single time.
Foles wasn’t specifically saying goodbye, but it sure felt that way.
And it was wistful, poignant and heartfelt. Exactly what you'd expect.
The big thing is what the city means to me. It’s always welcomed me and my family. It’s really been a joy to live there and wear the green and wear the jersey. No matter what, you can’t ever take that away. We were able to do some really special things. We’ll see what happens, but I’ll tell you this, I’ve enjoyed every single moment and (Philadelphia) will always have a special place in my heart. The city, the fans, the people, everything about it. There’s nothing like playing in the Linc in front of the crowd. It’s some of my favorite moments. My family got to experience them, my daughter got to experience them. We’ll see what happens, but I’ve enjoyed everything.
Foles most likely finished his second stint with the Eagles Sunday with the Eagles’ 20-14 loss to the Saints in the NFC divisional round at the Superdome (see Roob's observations).
Last year’s Super Bowl MVP was brilliant in the first quarter, struggled for much of the game, then suddenly got the Eagles down inside the Saints’ 30-yard line in the final minutes with a chance for another miracle win before his pass bounced off Alshon Jeffery’s hands for a game-ending interception.
Most of the post-game conversation focused on Foles’ future.
He and Carson Wentz can’t both be here, so he knows the almost-certain scenario is that Wentz stays and Foles leaves.
Asked if he’d like to stay with the Eagles, he danced around the question:
That’s a tough question. It’s a really unique situation. Something that honestly I need time to just step back. I love this city, I love playing there, we have three guys in that quarterback room that can play in this league, but no matter what happens it’s been a joy playing in this city, being in that quarterback room with Carson and Nate (Sudfeld) and going to work every day. The city means so much to me and my family and it always will.
One question he didn’t dance around was this: Do you want to be a starter?
“Yeah,” he said. “I mean ... You know? We’ll see what happens in the future, but I love leading a team. I love being in the huddle, being part of the locker room. That’s why I play the game.”
He’s not going to be a back-up.
Not after all this.
So it’s goodbye.
And his message to the fans also sounded like goodbye:
I'd like to thank them. Thank them for their support. It’s not ultimately how we wanted to end the season, but I think this team represents what Philly is about. People counted us out and we were able to continue to fight and give us an opportunity to enter the playoffs and win the first round and we had an opportunity to win this round. This team never stopped fighting. Just like the city of Philadelphia.
If this is it, Foles finishes 24-7 in meaningful starts as an Eagle since 2013.
Including a Super Bowl championship.
“I’m just grateful for every moment in the Linc and will continue to support the Eagles,” he said. “There’s a bright future for the Eagles and everyone there.”
Foles may be leaving, but not before he gave us a lifetime of memories.
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