Whatever happens the rest of Nick Foles career, he won’t pay for another drink in the city of Philadelphia for the rest of his life. Foles will be forever remembered as the quarterback that led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Build statues in his honor, print t-shirts with Foles face, but don’t overreact to what we saw over the last month of the season. Carson Wentz is still the Eagles quarterbacks of the future. Pump the brakes on the quarterback controversy rumors in Philadelphia.
Prior to tearing his ACL, Wentz threw for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 13 games this season. Wentz was also a threat with his legs rushing for 299 yards. Foles may be the man of the hour, but Wentz has a chance to be the Eagles quarterback for the next decade.
Keep in mind the Eagles traded up to select Wentz, taking a risk on a quarterback from North Dakota State. Philadelphia traded the Browns a 2016 third round pick, 2016 fourth rounder, 2017 first rounder and 2018 second round to move up six spots in the 2016 NFL Draft to secure Wentz. Foles was signed last off-season to be Wentz backup, not his replacement.
Foles does allow Wentz to take his time to get back on the field. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported there is a good chance Wentz will be ready for Week 1 of the 2018 season.
According to several sources with knowledge of Wentz’s rehab, it’s “realistic” to believe he’ll be good to go for the opener. It’s not a given, and no one knows for sure. But there is optimism.
Surgeon Dr. James Bradley, who did the operation, informed Wentz that barring a setback, he should be able to do some work in training camp and be ready for the season.
‘I should be good. Should be good,’ Wentz said at the end of an abbreviated media appearance last week.
With how Foles played in Wentz’s absence, there is no need for Wentz to rush back to risk further injury. It would not be a surprise if Foles started the season as the Eagles quarterback to allow Wentz a few more weeks to ensure he is 100 percent before taking the field.
Foles’ Super Bowl MVP performance is an inspirational story, but the Eagles have real decisions to make on his future. Philadelphia signed Foles to a team-friendly deal last off-season. Foles made just $1 million last season, and have Foles under contract at least through next season. The quarterback gets a bit of a raise as he will make $4 million next season, and there will be plenty of teams calling Philadelphia to see about the availability of the Super Bowl MVP. Especially given how many NFL teams could use a quarterback, Foles is an attractive option based on his contract and experience.
The Eagles will take advantage of their time in the spotlight with parades, and give Foles his moment. The reality is his trade value is as high as it will ever be. Prior to the Super Bowl, Rapoport reported the Eagles are open to listening to offers for Foles. With Wentz in the beginning stages of rehab, it would likely take a crazy trade offer for the Eagles to move Foles. This could change as we get closer to training camp if Wentzs health is progressing as expected.
What has become clear is the bond developed between Wentz and Foles. After the game, Wentz tweeted out a shout out to the most popular man in Philadelphia.
God is so good!!!! World Champions!!!! So proud of this team!!!! Told y’all my boy @NFoles_9 was gonna shine tonight! Well deserved my bro! #AO1 #flyeaglesfly
As the video below shows, Wentz was emotional after the Eagles hoisted the Lombardi trophy.
When Foles took over the starting gig, he was adamant that this was still Wentz’s team.
“This is Carson’s team,” Foles told 247 Sports. “I get that you’re the guy but that’s how I am: I respect Carson Wentz. I love that guy. I work with him every day and am going to give him that respect because he is the franchise quarterback…My job right now right no is to lead these guys on the field as the starting quarterback, and I am going to do that. I’ve been here. I’ve done that. I know what it entails. I know the responsibility. But this is Carson Wentz’s team. I respect him too much to make that statement.”
It was a job well done by the veteran quarterback who almost stepped away from football. Foles has the keys to the city, but they’re going back to Wentz next season.