Nick Foles showed he is human this season, but only just.
The backup-turned-play-off superstar from last year appeared to return this season with a Cinderella-esque three-game streak to hit the post-season and held on to take out the top defence in the Chicago Bears before being struck down. What sort of future now lies ahead for Magic Foles? That is the $20 million question.
To start with, Foles went 5-2 in 2018 with a stunning against-the-odds upset in Chicago. Pair that with a stat line of 373 yards in the air and three touchdowns in a wild Super Bowl finish and you either have a superhero or a genie. Either way, these stats should belong to a starter with a huge contract, yet in fact they belong to a backup-turned-starter that doesn’t have a sure future.
Foles could stay in Philly if the Eagles wanted to pay a starting salary to a backup. If not, Foles could buy out his contract for a measly $2 million – but then would he be guaranteed a roster spot somewhere else?
This is where the story gets really interesting. If Foles buys out his contract, who would pick him up? If he were to stay, would the Eagles pay him or would they use him as trade bait?
The beast of trade season is always sure to have a crazy story revolving around someone who could make a huge splash or fall to bust status. This year might just revolve around Foles and his decision in the coming weeks.
His numbers are good enough to land a starting gig somewhere, but would wherever he goes be good enough to make him look like a starter out of the gate? If he goes to a team without the right offensive weapons or a poor offensive line, will he be benched and become the first-to-worst story of 2019? I think he can excel in his surroundings, but do any of the teams think likewise?
If he ends up as trade bait, what kind of trades are the Eagles looking for in their prized backup? Is he a first-round talent or a second-round steal? Does he want to negotiate his own contract with a team he choses or go where he is traded and make the best of it?
These questions and more are set to be answered in upcoming weeks when the NFL hits the dreaded off-season.