While Jacksonville has seemed like the most-likely landing spot for Nick Foles for a while, Philly.com is now reporting that the Jaguars “absolutely expect to sign Foles” when free agency opens.
This report definitely falls in line with what I heard at the combine last week. Throughout my time in Indianapolis, I became more and more convinced Jacksonville is clearly the top destination.
Mainly because there doesn’t seem to be anyone else. The market dried up quickly.
And when Howie Roseman announced that the Eagles would let Foles become a free agent (a tag-and-trade scenario was never likely), it became clearer that there wasn’t much of a market for Foles. Without that market, any chance to trade Foles disappeared.
The Giants seem like they’re sticking with Eli Manning. The Raiders seem like they’re sticking with Derek Carr. I’ve heard from league sources that the Redskins aren’t much interested in Foles. And Miami doesn’t seem as likely as Jacksonville.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Jaguars’ confidence in landing Foles is that they’ve reportedly already begun working on structuring a contract for Foles.
Now, free agency doesn’t begin until March 13, so things could change. And while there might seem to be some illegal tampering going on, it doesn’t really matter because the Eagles have already let it be known that Foles is going to become a free agent. So it’s not like the Eagles are going to cause a fuss.
Foles, 30, has talked about the importance of fit for his next job and Jacksonville has seemed like an obvious destination for a few reasons. First off, it definitely needs to move on from the Blake Bortles experiment. When it hired John DeFilippo this offseason, it became clearer. Flip was Foles’ QBs coach in Philly and he’ll know how to use him. And the Jaguars were 5-11 last season but are just one year removed from a 10-6 season and an AFC South title. A better quarterback could get them back to the playoffs quicker than teams going through a rebuild.
While at the combine, Jags general manager Dave Caldwell didn’t completely close the door on Bortles, saying “as of right now he’s our starting quarterback.” That’s true, but only for so long. And both Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone stressed the importance of leadership from a quarterback. That’s one trait Foles definitely has. It seems increasingly likely he’ll be leading the Jaguars next season.
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