Nick Foles Is a Philadelphia Hero—Time to Trade Him

No team has traded its Super Bowl MVP after a championship, but with Carson Wentz returning, the Eagles may not have a choice

So the Eagles are in a position of power: They have two coveted quarterbacks.

Meanwhile, the Bills, Broncos, Browns, Cardinals, Jets and others could all hit the market for a quarterback. And they might pay plenty for the player who just shredded Bill Belichick’s defense for the Lombardi Trophy.

.. The Eagles drafted Foles in the third round of the 2012 draft. In 2013, he had one of the best statistical seasons for a quarterback ever: 27 touchdowns, only two interceptions. Not even Tom Brady has put up numbers like that.

From there, it got bumpy. He wasn’t that great and got hurt in 2014. Philadelphia traded him to the Rams in 2015. He wasn’t very good there, either. He went to the Chiefs in 2016 and barely played.

.. They traded a mountain of picks to get Wentz. They made Chase Daniel one of the NFL’s most expensive backups. Then they cut Daniel to sign another expensive backup they liked even more: Foles.

.. the only reason Philadelphia is even in a position to consider a trade is the fact that he had become so devalued. That he became a playoff sensation made Foles more valuable and more expendable than ever.

.. His salary is part of what could make him so attractive. He’d quickly become one of the league’s cheapest starting quarterbacks.

.. Philadelphia is one of three teams above the salary cap for 2018, according to In that context, Foles’s $7.6 million charge is awfully cumbersome for a player the team hopes doesn’t play.

.. Teams short on financial flexibility benefit the most from draft picks—the types the Eagles could get from another team in a trade. The draft produces cheap players on rookie contracts.

The Team That’s Smart Enough to Beat the Patriots

During the Super Bowl, there will be two unusual voices talking in Doug Pederson’s headset.

.. These people are the middle men between Philadelphia’s analytics side and the coaches on the field.

.. “There’s a belief from a lot of the football people that some of the analytics or quantitative people lack the necessary football IQ,”

“In a lot of cases, they don’t trust these guys.”

.. The Eagles’ decision making has drawn praise this season and for good reason: They converted on 17 fourth downs, the most in the NFL during the regular season.

.. Pederson has a security blanket when he makes bold bets. He knows he has support from the person that controls his fate. Earlier this year, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie praised that line of thought and said “smarter teams do it that way.”

.. All of Philadelphia’s five touchdowns in the NFC Championship were scored by players who weren’t on the team a season ago.

The Eagles Are Like the Jaguars…but Better

With relentless pressure, Jacksonville provided the perfect blueprint on how to attack New England quarterback Tom Brady. It just so happens that rushing the passer is Philadelphia’s strength.

.. the Eagles, who just so happen to boast the top-rated pass-rushing unit in the NFL. The Eagles hurried the opposing quarterback on about 41% of drop-backs during the regular season, the highest mark in the sport

.. They accomplished this largely without blitzing, a requirement for holding down Brady, who is a master at carving up defenses that dare send extra men at him at the expense of coverage in the secondary.

.. the Eagles rely on a ferocious front four loaded with talent and depth. They liberally rotate up to eight players, creating an unending carousel of fresh bodies

.. their combination of size and speed “just jumps out at you.”

.. Then the fourth quarter arrived and Brady did what he always does: He used the Jaguars’ ruthlessness against them, quickening the pace of the Patriots’ offense to tire Jacksonville out just in time for the most crucial moments of the game. Once fatigue set in across the Jaguars’ defensive line, Brady pounced,

.. The Eagles, however, have the personnel to combat the problems that plagued the Falcons and Jaguars. In addition to a dynamic first unit led by Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, they boast a group of backups who likely could start elsewhere.

The Patriots say that the sheer amount of talent on Philadelphia’s defensive line presents an unusual challenge.

.. The numbers show that while Brady’s performance certainly drops under pressure, he still handles the rush better than any other quarterback in the NFL.