The Jacksonville Jaguars are finding their next answer at quarterback, signing free agent Nick Foles in a move that has been widely expected since the Eagles decided not to place the franchise tag on the former Super Bowl MVP, according to multiple reports and as first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.
The financials of the contract are eye-popping, as Foles reportedly got $88 million over four years, with $50 million guaranteed. Whew.
But wait, there’s more!
Mike Garofolo of NFL Media reports there is another $14 million in incentives in the deal. Foles can earn $102 million over the course of his contract if he hits his incentives. This is a massive deal for a guy who was reportedly going to have a soft market with just one team — the Jaguars — interested in signing him.
Foles’ story is just remarkable. He was initially drafted by the Eagles under Andy Reid, but never flourished in Philly until Chip Kelly took over, at which point Foles produced a 27-touchdown, two-interception season. He would eventually be traded by Kelly to the Rams in a swap for Sam Bradford, where he struggled badly under Jeff Fisher.
He latched on with the Chiefs for a year as a backup, then returned to Philly to sit behind Carson Wentz, who had been drafted as the No. 2 overall pick. Wentz went down with a torn ACL during the 2017 NFL season, Foles came in, everyone wrote the Eagles off despite having the No. 1 seed in the NFC and he promptly marched them to a Super Bowl victory, outplaying Tom Brady in the process.
Foles spent last season as the backup in Philly again, but had to step in for Wentz on multiple occasions, as Wentz was battling a back injury late and returning from the ACL injury early in the year. Foles wasn’t great to start the season but turned into Late Season Nick once again, helping to take the Eagles to the playoffs and nearly making a deep run before the Eagles came up short against the Saints in New Orleans.
Those two magic runs meant that Foles was going to get paid — the Eagles picked up his $20 million option for 2019, but Foles bought it out for $2 million, forcing the Eagles to try and decide if they should franchise tag him and then trade him. They ultimately opted not to do so and the result was Foles hitting true free agency.
It was a major boon for the former Super Bowl MVP, who is now latched onto the Jaguars for the foreseeable future. It also means, according to reports, the end of Blake Bortles in Jacksonville, as it’s expected the Jags will released Bortles in the wake of signing Foles.