As we head into Wild Card Weekend in the NFL, a lot of the talk among Jacksonville Jaguarsfans has now naturally shifted to the quarterback position. With the team expected to move on from Blake Bortles this offseason, fans and media alike wonder what the team is going to do at the quarterback position. Two veteran options that keep cropping up are Joe Flacco, who is likely to be released by the Baltimore Ravens, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
Personally, I think the best course of action for the Jaguars is to sign someone like Tyrod Taylorand identify a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft and moving to get them.
However, there has been a lot of discussion about Foles since he once again saved the Eagles season once Carson Wentz went down with a back injury. Foles has a player option on his contract this offseason and the Eagles are projected to be about $13 million over the cap, so the expectation is that Foles will void his deal and hit the open market, with a handful of teams looking for solutions at quarterback.
I don’t mind Nick Foles. If that is the route the Jaguars decide to take, so be it, however… there is a big reason why Foles doesn’t seem all that feasible for the Jaguars specifically, and that’s the financial side. The main argument for Foles is that the Jaguars brass right now has a “win now” edict from owner Shad Khan, so the cost can be a concern for the next regime if they crash and burn.
The problem with that line of thought however is that it also hurts you in the right now and could potentially be damaging going forward to the long term success. This isn’t because Foles isn’t any good per se, but I think Foles has a situation around him that helps him he wouldn’t have here.
First, the biggest stumbling block for me is the cost. Nick Foles is not going to be cheap, even in a slow free agent market for his services. Look around the league at what starting quarterbacks are getting paid. Sam Bradford signed a one-year, $15 million deal last year. Blake Bortles signed a 3-year, $54 million deal last year. That Bortles contract by the way, plus say 20 percent, is likely going to be the extreme low starting point for what a Foles deal is going to look like. Average quarterbacks make about $20 million per year in the current NFL and if you’re one of the people who scoffed at paying Kirk Cousins $25 million per or more last season because you were worried you wouldn't be able to re-sign played like Jalen Ramsey or Yannick Ngakoue, then I’ve got some bad news.
I was fine with giving Kirk Cousins a big deal last season, in lieu of keeping Bortles or drafting a quarterback, knowing that you were going to pay big money in the first two seasons.