Earlier this weekend, our Alfie Crow opined about the current capabilities and restrictions that could face the Jacksonville Jaguars efforts in landing current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in the off-season, should that be the route they choose.
This morning NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport reported that Foles’ current team will likely — and smartly — throw in an even bigger road block to any team’s plans to pursue the veteran quarterback this winter, as they stand set to seek a sign and trade deal either via the franchise tag or by exercising the quarterback’s 2019 option.
The #Eagles are going to hand the ball back to franchise QB Carson Wentz whenever this run is over. At that point, they are expected to have a legit trade market for QB Nick Foles. My story: https://t.co/A4fBzXeo9N— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 6, 2019
Rapaport points out that either option would result in Foles receiving upwards of at least $20 million for the 2019 season. Foles and his agent undoubtedly will want whatever team acquiring him to produce a new deal with extended time and guaranteed money.
Put aside the contract value for a moment though, one that the Jags would seemingly be hard pressed to afford at those figures while also having to eat the 2019 Bortles cap hit, and go back to the fact that the Eagles would be requesting additional draft picks in collateral. Rapaport states that the Eagles previously turned down an offer of a second round pick for Foles earlier in the season, so it stands to reason they are going to be looking for someone to offer either their first round selection, or a bundle of second day picks, both in 2019 and in future years, to acquire the quarterback’s services ahead of other quarterback needy teams.
That puts the Jaguars in a precarious position as it stands.
If Tom Coughlin received an edict from owner Shad Khan that the current group in the front office and head coach Doug Marrone must win in 2019 to keep their jobs, and they believe that a veteran is the way to ensure their best opportunity for success, then Foles is clearly the best option available and the price to acquire him will be staggering, both in trade and financial capital.
On the other side of the coin though, the NFL Draft itself has seemingly started to settle into having one clear cut choice for the top quarterback, in Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. The problem for the Jaguars here is two-fold.
For one, the teams picking ahead of them at spots five and six, in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants respectively, both seem likely to draft a quarterback within the first two days, especially the Giants who have a general manager that was non-committal on whether Eli Manning would return in a recent “state of the franchise” speech last week, and who seemingly have the offensive skill pieces in place to support taking a quarterback high and allowing him early success.
Secondly, the draft is loaded with defensive talent and is likely to be a deep one for teams with needs particularly on the defensive line and in the secondary. This bodes well for the teams picking in the top four, any of which can likely be coerced into trading down with another team who may believe Haskins is their guy for the future and knows they’ll need to leap frog the Jaguars and perhaps the Giants to get him, with a top four team being able to move down and still get an elite player and a boat load of picks.
To give you an idea of what a trade in the latter scenario might cost the Jags, in 2016 the Eagles traded their first, third, and fourth round picks in 2016, their first round pick in 2017, and their second round pick in 2018 to the Cleveland Browns to move up from the 8th overall pick to the second overall pick in order to draft Carson Wentz.
Is that worth it if you end up with a Carson Wentz? No doubt.
Are you mortgaging your next three years of draft capital to find out? Yup.
Thus leaves the current situation the Jaguars now find themselves in. If they want the premier veteran quarterback on the market, they’re going to have to come up with a significant amount of draft picks and cash. If they want the most coveted collegiate player at the position available this April, they’re going to have come off of most of their current and perhaps future Day 1 and 2 picks, to move up and ensure they’re positioned ahead of other potential suitors to get him.
This is what happens when you try to build an offense around a running back.