Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Nick Foles' continued NFL unemployment is mystifying

Even in the turbulent world of the NFL, the staggering fall of former Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is confounding.

This is a guy who has a display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because in 2013 he recorded the NFL's 60th perfect quarterback rating (158.3) and tied a NFL record by throwing seven touchdowns in a game, yet as of now, Foles is still out of work since asking for his release from the Los Angeles Rams last week.

I don't think anyone believed we were seeing the second-coming of Peyton Manning when Foles had that magical season in 2013 when he threw for 22 touchdowns against two interceptions with a league-leading quarterback rating of 119.2 and was named Offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl.

Still even after Foles took a significant step back in 2014 when injury limited him to half of a season, there was a strong sentiment from many, myself included, who wanted to see more of the book get written before moving on from it.

Foles was not considered the type of quarterback former Eagles coach Chip Kelly wanted for his high-octane attack, but the trade of him in 2015 to then St. Louis Rams for quarterback Sam Bradford – who was even more mobility-challenged after two knee surgeries – caught people off guard.

While the jury is still out on Bradford as the Eagles signal caller, it looks like Kelly was at least correct about Foles not being up to the test.

After one disastrous season in St. Louis when Foles threw 10 interceptions against seven touchdowns with a rating of 69.0 and lost the starting job, the Rams returned to Los Angeles and surrendered a gold-mine of draft picks to the Tennessee Titans to move up to the No.1 overall pick and draft University of California quarterback Jared Goff.

It was not surprising that Foles asked for his release from the Rams and perhaps even less surprising that they granted it – despite taking an $8.5 million hit to the salary cap.

What is stunning is that in a league notoriously short on quarterback talent a 27-year-old former Pro Bowl signal caller who in his four seasons has played in 29 games with 25 starts, completed 60.2 percent of his passes for 8,805 yards with 53 touchdowns against 27 interceptions currently does not have a job.

Foles' career passer rating and completion percentage is better than Bradford's. The Eagles backup quarterback Chase Daniel has only thrown 77 passes in seven NFL seasons.

In Denver, Mark Sanchez, who was Foles' back up with the Eagles, is battling rookie Paxton Lynch for the starting job of the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

The Cleveland Browns are turning to either Robert Griffith III or Cody Kessler. Baltimore, Seattle, Washington, the New York Giants and Jets, Dallas, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Kansas City are an injury away from having a starter that hasn't accomplished anything near what Foles has.

Perhaps Dallas Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones recently best summed up the Foles dilemma. Early in training camp – before exhibition games and injuries – teams generally like to see what they already have.

Dallas has Kellen Moore, Jameill Showers and Dak Prescott in camp behind 36-year-old starter Tony Romo, who missed 12 games with two separate broken collar bones.

Still, Jones said of bringing in Foles, who is a high school legend in Austin, Texas, "We wouldn't be able to give him any snaps. We've got four that are going to get snaps."

Foles isn't a walking off-field disaster like former first-round bust Johnny Manziel.

He's accomplished more than 90 percent of the quarterbacks competing to be backup.

Right now, Nick Foles can't even find an opportunity to compete, and that's one of the strangest things currently going on in the NFL.