Eagles

Why would Nick Foles sign the franchise tag?

Why would Nick Foles sign the franchise tag?

As expected, the Eagles exercised Nick Foles’ option, only for the quarterback to void the deal. Now, things get interesting.

Or so we’re told.

In truth, the Eagles’ attempt to drum up a trade looks like a desperate bluff, and Foles is holding the nut hand.

Suppose the Eagles clear space under the salary cap to keep Foles using the franchise tag, setting up a post-March 13 trade. The trouble with that plan is he doesn’t have to sign.

And why would he? Sure, it’s an estimated $25 million guaranteed for one year’s work. That’s still less money overall than Foles would command as a free agent — plus he forfeits the freedom to choose where he plays.

What sounds better: $25 million for one year playing for a team of the Eagles’ choosing, or picking from multiple long-term offers potentially worth upwards of $50 million guaranteed?

If you’re Foles, who already had a bad experience with a trade; who is 30 and may never have more leverage; who could create a bidding war for his services on the open market; this is an easy decision.

The only recourse the Eagles have in that situation is to apply the tag and sit on Foles’ rights until he signs. But is that any way to do business? With a Philly folk hero and franchise legend?

All this so the Eagles might extract a third-round draft pick from some team? Consider the hoops the front office needs to jump through just to get in position to pull this off.

First, the Eagles need to clear the cap space to roster Foles through March 13, the start of the NFL calendar. This means not only releasing and/or restructuring one or more players, but possibly delaying re-signing impending free agents as well. This seems like more trouble than it’s worth to net a third.

Then the Eagles need to convince Foles wherever he’s going is the right situation for him, which, even if the location is, the contract is not.

The Eagles could be awarded a third if Foles walks, anyway, in the form of a compensatory pick in 2020. As others have noted, this is dependent upon what the club does in free agency, but his signing elsewhere is a net gain for the formula regardless.

So the pick doesn’t matter. The only remaining advantage for the Eagles is keeping Foles away from the Giants and Washington.

Who cares? The Eagles are letting Foles go because they believe they have a better quarterback in Carson Wentz. Why is anybody afraid of a career backup staying in the NFC East?

Foles shouldn’t allow the Eagles to make that decision for him. If tagged, he should call their bluff. Don’t sign it.

What are the Eagles going to do? Leave $25 million in cap dollars waiting for Foles to sign while simultaneously attempting to build a Super Bowl contender? Have a protracted standoff with a franchise legend last into the summer, engendering bad feelings among players and fans? All for a third-round pick and to bar him from the NFC East?

Of course not. Foles holds the cards here. The only aspect of this situation interesting to Eagles fans is watching how quickly the team folds.

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Eagles open as big favorites over Washington in Week 1

Eagles open as big favorites over Washington in Week 1

If you quickly thought “W” when you saw the Eagles were hosting Washington at the Linc to open up the 2019 regular season, you’re not the only one. 

The Eagles opened up as eight-point favorites on FanDuel. That’s pretty consistent with other sports books too. I’ve also seen them at 8 1/2. 

That eight-point spread is the biggest of Week 1 in the NFL, but that shouldn’t be too surprising. Maybe if Washington trades for Josh Rosen, that changes. Maybe if they draft a quarterback in the first round, that changes. But for now? That seems about right. 

Washington fell apart last year, but the Eagles beat them 28-13 in Week 13 and 24-0 in Week 17. In the last two seasons, the Eagles are 4-0 against the Skins and have beaten them by an average of 15 1/2 points per game. If that continues, they'll cover easily. 

Elsewhere in NFL Week 1, the Seahawks are 7 1/2-point favorites over the Bengals, the Cowboys are 7 1/2-point favorites over the Giants and the Saints are 7 1/2-point favorites over the Texans. Those three favorites are also at home. 

Taking a quick look at FanDuel’s futures odds, the Eagles are tied for the seventh-longest odds to win the Super Bowl at +1,600. That means if you bet $100, you’d win $1,600. 

Here are current Super Bowl odds: 

Patriots: +700
Chiefs: +800
Saints: +850
Rams: +900
Browns: +1400
Chargers: +1400
Bears: +1600
Colts: +1600
Eagles: +1600
Packers: +1800
Vikings: +2000
Steelers: +2000
Cowboys: +2300
Falcons: +2600
Texans: +2800
Seahawks: +2900
49ers: +3000
Jaguars: +3300
Ravens: +3400
Panthers: +5000
Titans: +5000
Raiders: +5500
Broncos: +6000
Giants: +6000
Jets: +6000
Buccaneers: +6000
Bills: +8000
Lions: +8000
Redskins: +8000
Bengals: +10000
Cardinals: +11000
Dolphins: +12000

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Phillies are to blame for Eagles' 3-game road trip in October

Phillies are to blame for Eagles' 3-game road trip in October

You know that three-game road trip the Eagles have in the middle of October? 

You can blame Bryce Harper, according to NBC Sports’ Peter King. 

Really. 

This is kind of wild. The NFL schedule makers really looked at the Phillies’ roster and decided they might be a team to go deep in the playoffs. It does seem possible, but we might be jumping the gun a little. Although, on our Eagle Eye podcast last night, Reuben Frank did say the Eagles wouldn’t be at home in October because the Phils would be in the World Series. (I thought he was joking.) 

But here’s the Eagles’ schedule. After a home game against the New York Jets on Oct. 6, the Eagles are on the road for three straight weeks, when the Phillies could theoretically be in the playoffs: 

Week 6 — at MIN on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m.
Week 7 — at DAL on Oct. 20 at 8:20 p.m.
Week 8 — at BUF on Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.

For reference, the 2018 World Series wrapped up with a Game 5 on Oct. 28. The Eagles host the Bears at 1 p.m. on Nov. 3, so maybe we’ll have an NFL playoff rematch and Game 7 of the World Series in South Philadelphia later this year. Are we getting ahead of ourselves a bit? 

After the Eagles have these three road games, they are home for three straight too. Still, the three-game trip on the road isn’t ideal. At least there’s not a west coast trip in there somewhere. 

In September of this year, the Eagles host games on Sept. 8 (Washington) and Sept. 22 (Detroit). The NFL has the benefit of seeing the MLB regular season schedule before putting out theirs. So on Sept. 8, the Phillies are at the Mets and on Sept. 22, they’re in Cleveland. This is the way the NFL always handles these two teams. They make sure the Eagles are away when the Phillies are home. 

The last time the Eagles and Phillies played on the same day in South Philly was Oct. 2, 2011. That was also the last year the Phillies were in the playoffs. 

On that day, the times were staggered. The Eagles kicked off at 1 p.m. against the 49ers at the Linc and the Phillies’ first pitch against the Cardinals in the NLDS was at 8:37 p.m. (The Eagles lost 24-23 and the Phillies lost Game 2, 5-4.) 

There were 69,144 people at the Linc that day and 46,575 at Citizens Bank Park that evening. I’d guess a lot of folks pulled the sports complex double-header that day. It won’t be possible this year.

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