NFL Free Agency: Jacksonville Jaguars set to sign Nick Foles

Nick Foles, the number one 2019 free agency quarterback, has chosen his next team. The Jacksonville Jaguars are set to add the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.

According to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, Foles’ will get a 4-year, $88 million deal with a max value of $102 million through NFL free agency. ESPN’s NFL Insider Adam Schefter is also reporting the contract will have $50.125 million guaranteed. It was evident that Jacksonville had planned to move on from former starting QB Blake Bortles after the offense severely underperformed last season.

The Jaguars acted quickly after the Philadelphia Eagles announced hey would let Foles test free agency. Initially, the Eagles planned on franchise tagging the quarterback.

Why Foles is getting a big deal from the Jaguars

Drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft by Philadelphia, Foles became the starter in 2013. Foles took over for QB Michael Vick in week 5 after Vick suffered a hamstring injury. Foles would go on to have a Pro Bowl season, posting the best touchdown to interception ratio in NFL history (27 touchdowns to 2 interceptions). He also posted a 100 passer rating in 9 out of 11 games.

After spending his first three seasons with the Eagles, Foles was traded to the St. Louis Rams for former first-overall pick Sam Bradford. After a disappointing season in 2015, the Rams drafted Jared Goff first overall, and the Rams released Foles. He signed with a two-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, backing up QB Alex Smith.

He was released after one season, then joined the Eagles for the second time, and was Super Bowl MVP. Jacksonville will be Foles’ 4th franchise.

What can Foles bring to the Jaguars?

In his last two seasons, Foles has proven he has what it takes to be a starting QB. During the 2017 NFL season, Foles started the final three games of the regular season due after Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams. Foles went 2-1 and then led the Eagles on an improbable run to a Super Bowl victory. He was also awarded the Super Bowl LII MVP after throwing for 373 yards, three touchdowns and catching a touchdown.

In week 15 of last season, Foles took over Philadelphia’s offense due to another injury to Wentz, this time a stress fracture in his back. Foles led the Eagles to three straight wins and was the catalyst for their postseason appearance. However, the quest for back-to-back Super Bowl wins ended with a loss to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round. Foles finished the season throwing for 1,880 yards, ten touchdowns, and eight interceptions.

When given weapons, Foles has shown he can lead a successful offense. Even though RB Leonard Fournette was injured and struggled in 2018, Foles should take some pressure off of Fournette. Foles is a considerable upgrade over Bortles and has what it takes to stretch the field.

What does signing Foles mean for the Jaguars?

Jacksonville seemed primed to compete for the AFC championship after the Jaguars made it to the AFC Championship game in 2017. The defense remained stout but the offense crumbled behind Bortles.  Replacing Bortles’ ineptitude in the pocket with Foles is an immediate solution to the Jaguars problems under center. Signing Foles also allows Jacksonville to address other issues on the offense, most notably the offensive line and offensive weapons.

The Jaguars have the 7th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft as well as the 6th pick in the second round (38th pick overall). Signing Foles can let the Jaguars use the first round pick on a top-tier offensive lineman such as Jonah Williams Jawaan Taylor. The offensive lineman class is incredibly deep in this year’s draft. The Jaguars could wait to draft a lineman until the second round. Instead, they could take one of the top two tight ends out of Iowa. No matter what Jacksonville does, it will need to address the wide receiver group in free agency with Donte Moncrief heading into free agency and Marqise Lee recovering from a torn ACL.

If the Jaguars can build the offense around Foles, there should be no reason Jacksonville cannot return to its 2017 form.