Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles wants to be a starter again.
Of course he does.
You’d be hard-pressed to find any player in the NFL who would willingly admit they’re fine being a backup, and a guy who led his team to a win over Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in Super Bowl LII obviously wants that type of opportunity again.
In a recent interview with Austin TV station KVUE, Foles admitted as much.
“I know there was some stuff going around about a possible trade,” said Foles, who wore a Phillies hat and began his answer by saying how much he loved the city. “I would love the opportunity to be a starter again. I know my spot in Philadelphia. I think I’ve shown what I can do. I’m signed for one more year and I love the team and I love the city. I’m excited for Carson to get back on his feet. I’ll be ready to go whenever they need me.
“But we’ll see. Just living in the moment, get ready for this offseason program. It’s been a real quick offseason. The Super Bowl was just a few months ago. But I’m excited to see all the guys because we all go our different directions so we’ll all come back together in that locker room. There will be some new faces, some faces gone. But we’ll be the Philadelphia Eagles once again and we’ll have a great offseason.”
The Eagles have been very open with Foles during every step of last season and into the offseason. There’s absolutely no quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. Carson Wentz is still the guy. It’s his team and the Eagles have made sure to yell that from every mountaintop they can. But if it’s Wentz’s team, that means the Super Bowl MVP will eventually be a backup again; it’s a unique situation.
Foles is 29 and has one year left on his contract. He's probably going to get a chance to become a starter again, even if he has to wait out the 2018 season.
Like many players, Foles says he doesn’t follow his name in the news. But unlike many players, he’s probably being honest. It’s just impossible for him to insulate himself completely. The rumors about a possible trade are out there and Foles obviously hears about them.
“It’s a very unique situation,” Foles said. “I think the great thing with Philly, I have such a great relationship with the personnel decision-makers that if there ever does come a day where I’m traded or something does happen, it’s going to be an open conversation. We’re excited to go back to Philly. We’ll go back there in a few days. I don’t know what my career holds from here on out. I’ve been very blessed for the six years I’ve played. I would love to start again and do all that, but we go year by year and we’ll just enjoy Monday and seeing all the guys after an offseason away from being Super Bowl champs.”
As Foles said, the Eagles kick off their offseason workout program on Monday. The team will be back together in the NovaCare Complex for mostly strength and conditioning training. The team’s OTAs will begin on May 22 and as Wentz continues his recovery, Foles will take all the first-team reps at quarterback. He’ll likely do the same in training camp and in the preseason.
But eventually, whenever Wentz is ready to return, Foles will go back to being a backup. Head coach Doug Pederson was asked last month if he thinks Foles will be OK with that.
“I think so,” Pederson said at the owners meetings in Orlando (see story). “That’s obviously probably a Nick question, but I just kind of know Nick and his mentality and I think he’s fine with that. He understands it’s Carson’s team. He knew that last year, but he did embrace his role and did it superbly. Moving forward, I think he’s going to be OK.”
If nothing else, Foles is basically an insurance policy for the Eagles. It’s why there’s such an expensive price tag for any team that wants to acquire him through a trade, as Howie Roseman explained not that long ago (see story).
Really, the quarterback market seemed to dry up this offseason. There just aren’t many teams where a Foles trade would make sense right now, but the Eagles were obviously opportunistic a couple years ago when they traded Sam Bradford, so that possibility is always there. For now, though, Foles is going to have to wait out this season before he gets the chance to become a starter again.