happy return?

Would a Return to the Eagles Make Sense for Nick Foles?

Nick Foles is on the trading block, and the Eagles need a backup quarterback.

OK, don't even go there.

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There are several reasons the Eagles shouldn't and wouldn't re-acquire Foles, their 2012 draft pick, 2017 Super Bowl MVP and a folk hero for life in these parts.

The Eagles let Foles walk after the 2018 season, and he signed a four-year, $88 million contract with the Jaguars that included a $25 million signing bonus and just over $50 million in guaranteed components.

After just four games, the Jaguars are apparently ready to move on.

Dan Graziano of ESPN reported Monday that the Jaguars want to trade Foles and move forward with Gardner Minshew, who played nine games after Foles broke his collarbone on opening day against the Chiefs and then started five more games later in the year after Foles was benched.

The Jaguars went 0-4 in Foles' four starts, and he completed 66 percent of his passes for 736 yards with three TDs, 2 INTs and an 84.6 passer rating.

Minshew, a 23-year-old rookie sixth-round pick, went 6-6, completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,271 yards with 21 TD passes and 6 INTs for a 91.2 passer rating.

Foles has had two stints with the Eagles. He was a Pro Bowler in 2013 when he had his historic 27-TD, 2-INT season.

After spending 2015 with the Rams and 2016 with the Chiefs, he returned to the Eagles in 2017, replaced injured Carson Wentz late in the season and won a Super Bowl. He replaced an injured Wentz again in 2018 and won a playoff game in Chicago before a playoff loss in New Orleans in his final appearance in an Eagles uniform.

In 46 career games with the Eagles, Foles has 69 TDs, 28 INTs and a 94.0 passer rating.

In 16 game with the Rams, Chiefs and Jaguars, he has 13 TDs, 12 INTs and a 76.6 passer rating.

So why not the Eagles?

A few reasons.

The first is money. Foles is due base salaries of $15.125 million, $14.875 million and $20 million the next three years. It's hard to imagine anybody trading for Foles with those numbers unless they get some pretty significant assets in return in the form of draft picks. If the Jaguars can't trade him and don't want to keep him as an $88 million backup, the Jaguars would have to release him.

The second and really most important reason is the undue drama it would create. Foles is a living legend in Philadelphia. He and Carson Wentz are good friends, but the locker room dynamic having Wentz alongside the guy who replaced him and won a Super Bowl would not be a healthy one. You're just asking for trouble when every Wentz interception is greeted by chants of "WE WANT FOLES, WE WANT FOLES." Not fair to put Wentz in that position, and the Eagles wouldn't do it.

The third is simply that just because Foles had a remarkable run in 2017 doesn't mean he's the best option today as a backup quarterback. Plus, he's only 30 and should be in his prime and will most likely look for a situation that at least gives him a chance to be a starter, something he'll never have here as long as Wentz is healthy.

Foles has already considered retiring once - after his miserable 2015 season with the Rams, and if he's not in Jacksonville in 2020 this will be the fifth time in the last six years he's changed teams. It's not inconceivable that after a record-setting Pro Bowl season in 2013 and a Super Bowl MVP in 2017, after earning over $60 million he may elect to retire.

Foles has always been a difficult guy to figure out. He's only started 13 regular-season games since 2016, winning seven, and he's never started more than 11 games in a season. But he has that miracle 2017 postseason and Super Bowl in his back pocket. Only seven active quarterbacks have won more playoff games, and all are older.

A logical destination for Foles if he does want to continue in the NFL is Indianapolis, where head coach Frank Reich was Foles' offensive coordinator during the Super Bowl run. The Colts seem ready to move on after the retirement of Andrew Luck and a 7-9 season under Jacoby Brissett.

There's going to be a ton of quarterback turnover over the next month. And if Tom Brady really does leave New England, would it surprise anybody if Bill Belichick went after Foles?

As for the Eagles? Foles has a statue here and a place in the team's Hall of Fame. But one thing he won't have in 2020 is a roster spot.

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