The Jacksonville Jaguars traded Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears on Wednesday just a few hours before the start of the new league year, according to multiple reports.
The Foles experiment in Jacksonville lasted just over one year – 370 days, to be exact. The quarterback landed a lucrative deal after his improbable championship run with the Eagles in 2017.
The trend of Foles’ floundering away from Philadelphia continued after he signed a four-year, $80 million contract to be the starting quarterback in Jacksonville. His departure squashed any doubt in Philadelphia that Carson Wentz was the Eagles’ guy moving forward, but things soured in Jacksonville from the outset.
Foles broke his collarbone in his regular-season debut with the Jaguars and missed 10 games. In his absence, Jags rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew emerged as a mustachioed star and eventually took Foles’ job even when the 31-year-old returned from the injury.
Foles went winless in the four starts he made with the Jaguars.
The last time Foles led a team to victory was with the Eagles in the wild-card round of the 2018 playoffs, against what is now his his new team. The Bears sent a fourth-round pick in exchange for Foles.
Jacksonville will be happy to erase the mistake of signing Foles last offseason. Instead, the Jags will able to build a roster around Minshew, who is making $677,000 per year over the next three seasons. They were originally enamored with Foles’ two seasons as the Eagles’ backup filling in for Carson Wentz. Foles outdueled Tom Brady is Super Bowl LII, throwing three touchdowns and catching another to become a local legend with a statue outside Lincoln Financial Field.
Now, the team is rebuilding. Along with the earlier trade of Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville has accumulated a war chest of draft picks to help the turnaround. The Jags have two first-round picks in each of the next two drafts and are considering trading defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, who could fetch another.
The Bears will be happy to have a quarterback capable of either backing up Mitchell Trubisky or perhaps even replacing him.
Trubisky made the Pro Bowl in 2018, his second year in the league. The 25-year-old quarterback, and the Bears as a whole, regressed mightily last season. They went 12-4 in 2018 but were 8-8 last year.
According to ESPN, Foles has agreed to a restructuring of his contract that will allow him to void it in each of the next two offseasons.
There will be a good deal of familiarity with Foles and the Chicago staff, too. Bears coach Matt Nagy was an offensive quality control coach with the Eagles for the start of Foles’ first stint with the Birds in 2012. He was later Foles’ quarterbacks coach when the two were in Kansas City in 2016.
Nagy, a longtime friend of Doug Pederson’s from their days fetching burgers and crunching tape for Andy Reid, may have called the Eagles head coach for advice.
According to an NFL Network report, Nagy wasn’t the only former Eagles coach hoping to re-create the Foles magic. Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich, the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2017, was apparently close to reuniting with Foles, but his team was apparently insistent on offering only a fifth-round pick after signing veteran quarterback Philip Rivers on Tuesday.
Foles will get a chance to host Brady and his new team next season, although it’s unclear if Foles will start. The Bears and Buccaneers are slated to play at Solider Field at some point.