By Seth Schlechter
Nick Foles’ unorthodox second stint with the Philadelphia Eagles has come to an end.
The Super Bowl LII MVP has been the ultimate insurance policy throughout his time in Philadelphia. Foles’ greatest successes came after team injuries forced him into action. Off the bench, he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title and sparked an unexpected playoff run in back to back seasons.
Howie Roseman, vice president of Football Operations, explained the team’s decision to let Foles become a free agent.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) February 27, 2019
Foles’ success and the questionable durability of Carson Wentz forced the Eagles to make a difficult decision as to who would be their quarterback of the future. The team has picked Wentz, who has showed promise while healthy and is a player the team traded up to draft.
After last season’s championship run, Foles and the organization renegotiated his contract which included a $2 million signing bonus. Many viewed the move as a thank you for bringing the city its first championship. Due to his sparse playing time, the heavily incentive-based new deal featured other bonuses for games played, statistics, and wins. A 2018 unexpected playoff run allowed Foles to reach many of his incentives while only playing seven games.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 19, 2019
After another strong season playing in relief, The Eagles exercised a $20 million team option to bring back Foles in 2019, however he exercised a clause which allowed him to pay $2 million to opt out. The two were now at a standstill. While rumors circulated the team would place the franchise tag on Foles, which would keep him under contract with Philadelphia, they decided not to in the end.
The decision to let Foles leave is bittersweet for the Eagles and fans everywhere.
Former teammates took to social media to bid farewell to Foles.
— Lane Johnson (@LaneJohnson65) February 27, 2019
Michael Boylan, a Philadelphia resident and lifelong Eagles fan, is happy for Foles.
“Nick Foles brought so much to the city of Philadelphia and Eagles fans everywhere,” he said. “While I’m sad to see him leave I know he’ll get a better opportunity to play elsewhere. To hold him hostage here would have been unfair.”
Originally drafted by the Eagles in 2012, the quarterback made the most of limited opportunities during his two stints in Philadelphia.
In 2013, Foles did not win the starting quarterback job out of training camp, however would lead the Eagles to a division title after replacing an injured Michael Vick. Foles’ season included 27 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. He became only the seventh player to throw for seven touchdowns in a game and was voted to the Pro Bowl.
His play took a dip in the 2014 and coach Chip Kelly traded him to St. Louis after the season.
After three seasons away, Foles would return to Philadelphia as a back up and mentor to Carson Wentz prior to the 2017 season. Less than a year later he’d once again play in relief and lead the team that drafted him to a championship.
While all good things must come to an end, Foles’ legacy in Philadelphia will live on forever.