Where will Nick Foles play in 2019? Ranking the Eagles QB’s most likely landing spots

Nick Foles has quarterbacked the Philadelphia Eagles through two straight playoff runs, racking up improbable victories and a historic Super Bowl title along the way, but with Carson Wentz entrenched as the team’s long-term No. 1, the Eagles announced on Wednesday that they will not place franchise tag on Foles.

Before the 2018 season, Foles and the Eagles agreed on a revised contract that included a mutual option for 2019. The team reportedly exercised that option, for $20 million, before Foles exercised his own rights and returned a $2 million bonus to become a free agent. With Wentz sticking around for the long term and Eagles personnel chief Howie Roseman confirming at the NFL combine that Philadelphia will allow Foles to test the market without using its franchise tag, it’s time to consider where the Super Bowl LII MVP might be playing in 2019.

Let’s rank the most likely landing spots:

10. Retirement

If you know Foles’ story, this wouldn’t be a shock if he has a sudden change of heart or can’t find the offer he’s looking for. The veteran revealed during the Eagles’ 2017 title run that he actually decided to step away from the game before signing with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016. He’s also especially unaffected by his reputation and has talked openly about becoming a pastor after football. We’d call this a long shot, but it can’t be ruled out.

9. Minnesota Vikings

This is probably about as unlikely as him retiring, but hear us out. This has nothing to do with Kirk Cousins. The Vikings do not have a proven backup under contract for 2019, with Trevor Siemian set to hit free agency. They have an affinity for ex-Eagles QBs (see: Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Sam Bradford). And if Foles has earned the respect of any team, it’s Minnesota, a franchise that reportedly tried landing him multiple times a few years ago. He also played with Cousins in college, so if he can’t find a starting gig and is willing to be a backup again, why not here?

8. Philadelphia Eagles

If there’s anyone who’d take less money to remain in Philly, it’s Foles. The guy loves the city, loves the fans and will forever be a hero for his Super Bowl LII heroics. He’s also been used a whole lot more than normal backups because of Wentz’s injury history. The Eagles are also creative enough to finagle his finances — something Roseman might be willing to do only if no other market develops for Foles, which seems unlikely.

7. Houston Texans

Again, like retirement and the Vikings, this only makes sense if Foles is unable to get a great starting opportunity. Texans coach Bill O’Brien has heaped praise on Foles in the past, and beyond that, Houston’s current backup, Brandon Weeden, is set to become a free agent. There’s also probably not a better geographical fit for him outside of Philly. By backing up Deshaun Watson, he’d be just a few hours from Austin, Texas, where he was born and raised.

6. New York Giants

Foles is better than the 37-year-old Eli Manning, but New York seems to believe its old man has gas left in the tank. The NFC East connection ensures the team would be aware of Foles’ strengths and weaknesses, however, and coach Pat Shurmur was Foles’ offensive coordinator for the QB’s lone Pro Bowl season. If Dave Gettleman is serious about giving Manning some veteran competition, this makes sense, but would Foles commit to a place where he isn’t guaranteed his last big starting opportunity?

5. Washington Redskins

They’ve been all about the retread QB over the years, acquiring two former Andy Reid veterans (Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith) since 2010. Foles would represent a third, and with Smith’s future murky after surgery, Washington looks like a place that could have a starting job open. We’re just not sold Foles would be jumping up and down to join this organization unless the team goes after him with a full head of steam.

4. Oakland Raiders

Coach Jon Gruden and QB Derek Carr have exchanged pleasantries despite a roller-coaster first season together, and yet if there’s anyone in the NFL who’s capable of a surprise blockbuster, it’s Gruden. Who’s to say Oakland won’t explore a trade of Carr, especially if it can get its hands on a more proven big-game QB like Foles? A lot has to happen for this to become reality, but would anyone really be surprised if Gruden and the Raiders found a way into the year’s hottest quarterback sweepstakes?

3. Cincinnati Bengals

Here’s your oddball of the bunch. The Bengals hired Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to replace the ousted Marvin Lewis, and with such a serious change figures to come serious evaluation of the QB position, from which Andy Dalton can be cut or traded at no cost. Perhaps Taylor will admire Dalton, but he’ll also hear good things about Foles from his brother, Press, the Eagles’ QBs coach, a Foles friend and rumored Bengals hire. Even if Cincy was bent on drafting a Dalton replacement, what better way to bridge to the future than with a Super Bowl MVP?

2. Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill is still on the team, but he may not be come this summer if Miami opts to spread the dead money of a potential release over the next two years. Team owner Stephen Ross is getting impatient, and at age 30, Tannehill has accomplished far less than Foles. Miami also hired New England Patriots assistant Brian Flores as their new coach — the same man who watched Foles carve up his defense in the Super Bowl. Even if the ‘Phins draft a new QB, they’d draw fans right away with No. 9.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

This is the mother of all possibilities. It’s almost too good to be true. Blake Bortles figures to be on his way out. Tom Coughlin’s Giants witnessed Foles’ talent plenty of times back in the day — talent that drew praise from Coughlin at the time. Foles has considered relocating to Florida before. And the Jags’ new offensive coordinator just happens to be John DeFilippo, the same man who mentored Foles as the Eagles’ QBs coach during Philly’s Super Bowl run. Jacksonville drafting a future face of the franchise wouldn’t preclude them from pursuing Foles, either, considering this team is just a year removed from an AFC title trip.

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