The decision has been made.
There will be no tag and no trade.
They will not use the franchise tag on Foles, and on March 13, the first day of the new league year, the only player to win a Super Bowl MVP in Eagles green will be free to sign elsewhere. Executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman made the announcement Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“After a lot of conversation, we think letting him become a free agent is the right thing to do,” Roseman said. “He’s a tremendous player, Super Bowl MVP, and someone we feel is a top 15 quarterback in this league. We were incredibly fortunate to have him and wish him the best of luck in the future.”
It had been long speculated and reported that the Eagles would tag Foles and pursue a trade after first reportedly exercising their $20 million option and having Foles execute his $2 million option to void it.
But a trade didn’t come to fruition, and now Foles will get a chance to choose his next team.
“It’s hard when you have someone who’s been incredibly valuable to your organization at the most important position in sports,” Roseman said. “… But at the same time, he deserves an opportunity to lead a team.
“It’s a goal of his to lead another team and lead another locker room, and we feel at this point that it’s the right decision.”
Had they been able to pull off a trade, the Eagles almost certainly would have received a pick in this year’s draft. Now Foles’ signing with a new team will factor into the equation that determines the compensatory picks the Eagles receive in the 2020 draft.
The Eagles now enter the free-agent market in search of a third quarterback. Though Nate Sudfeld is the strong front-runner to be promoted to Wentz’s backup, Roseman and coach Doug Pederson want to see Sudfeld earn it.
“Nate’s done a great job,” Pederson said. “Nate has really put himself in a position to compete for it. We just don’t go around and give out jobs. But at the same time, we want him to compete for that spot. We feel like he’s earned the opportunity to do that.”
Sudfeld actually already has been the Eagles’ backup at a more crucial point in their history — from the time Wentz hurt his knee in December 2017 through their Super Bowl LII victory. But once Wentz returned after the first two games last season, Sudfeld again became the third quarterback.
Pederson indicated the extra quarterback could be filled via free agency or the draft.
“I think it can go both ways,” he said.
Selected by the Eagles in the third round of the 2012 draft, Foles had the best season of his career the next year, throwing 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions on his way to becoming a Pro Bowl MVP.
But Foles will always be known for being a Super Bowl MVP.
After being traded to the Rams and rejoining Andy Reid in Kansas City, Foles rejoined the Eagles in 2017 and upon replacing Carson Wentz against the Rams began his magical ride that earned the franchise its first Lombardi Trophy.
This past season, he once again replaced an injured Wentz and sparked an implausible playoff run that was cut short in a conference semifinal loss to the Saints at the Superdome.
His performance also sparked an incessant Foles vs. Wentz debate.
Now thankfully — there really shouldn’t have been one, it’s Wentz all the way — that’s over too.
Best of luck and thanks, Nick. You’ll always be an Eagles legend.
Carson, time’s yours.