Following this week’s trade of former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos, the groundswell of takes from most football media outlets was that the trade would ultimately be the domino that will lead to the seemingly forever discussed deal between the Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo even went as far as to say there will be, “mutual interest”, between the Jags and Foles in making a deal happen.
The problem with this narrative being driven, however, is that this looks to be a unique off-season in that the players coming available at the quarterback position— Foles included— are staring at a market that simply isn’t there.
Looking at the teams with the most likely interest in the position this off-season other than Jacksonville— Washington, New York, Miami—- shows a list of franchises not very likely or capable of throwing a major amount of cash at a player like Foles, who is going to be commanding at least the $20 million provided by the option he bought out of with the Eagles.
Washington has Alex Smith’s contract albatross that make’s Blake Bortles’ deal look like a rookie free agent signing and frankly the team is an even bigger dumpster fire than the Jaguars from the top down. The Giants have been talked about as being ready to move on from aging Eli Manning for seemingly every off-season of recent memory, but it would seem highly unlikely they’d cut Manning only to take on another high-dollar contract rather than keep him and draft for the future in April or 2020. Finally, Miami is getting ready to move on from Ryan Tannehill, but all indications are they have an eye towards making their big swing at the position in 2020, when the draft class stands to be much more fruitful.
Simply put, the Jaguars ARE the market for Foles or any of the mid-tier veterans that will be available come March 13th, should he hit free agency. Which means that Tom Coughlin doesn’t have to make any unnecessary trades or sign Foles to a contract relatively as lucrative as the one they reportedly seriously considered last year when Kirk Cousins became available, yet turned down because the price was simply too high, (they were correct here, by the way).
The Jaguars can sit back and force the Eagles into desperation and into moving Foles to another team while taking as high of draft collateral as they can muster, or allow the market with Foles to come to them should Philly decide to let him walk, which is why I don’t believe in the end Nick Foles is starting for the Jaguars on September 8th.
I do believe the team will have heavily discussed Foles as an option, but at the end of the day they will pass on getting into any bidding wars for the quarterback and Philadelphia will find a suitor willing to part with the draft picks they covet. Besides, the Jaguars are going to be too busy ensuring they get the quarterback they have coveted since the fall, Dwayne Haskins.