On Wednesday at the 2019 NFL Combine, Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman told reporters that quarterback Nick Foles is free. He will not be receiving the franchise tag and will enter free agency unimpeded.
“We’ve spent a lot of time discussing this internally and with him,” Roseman said, “and we’ve decided to let Nick become a free agent.
“It’s hard when you have someone who’s incredibly available to your organization at the most important position in sports. And at the same time, we’ve had incredible success with him when he’s had to play. Four playoff wins over the last two years. Great teammate. Huge resource for Carson and Nate Sudfeld, as well. 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 with that, the New York Giants, who are in search of Eli Manning’s eventual successor, have another option to pick from. And according to Tony Pauline of NFL Draft Analyst, the Giants will be “very interested” in his services.
As fate would have it, Foles is equally as interested in potentially joining the Giants, Zack Rosenblatt of NJ Advance Media reported earlier this month.
Multiple people with knowledge of Foles’ thinking, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told NJ Advance Media that it’s “unlikely” he returns to the Eagles as Carson Wentz’s backup for 2019. Though, if Foles doesn’t find the starting job he’s seeking on the open market, that could change.
One team Foles is expected to keep tabs on: the New York Giants. Foles would “probably” be interested in joining the Eagles’ NFC East rival, one person with knowledge of Foles’ thinking said, if the Giants ultimately decide to move on from Eli Manning.
A Foles-Giants marriage would become less likely if the Eagles use the franchise tag on the University of Arizona alum.
While the Giants have all but committed to Eli Manning for 2019, general manager Dave Gettleman did not rule out bringing in a veteran quarterback to compete with Manning.
“I can’t say anything like that,” Gettleman said when asked if he’d rule out adding a veteran. “Well, it’s a never-ending process. We haven’t even hit free agency yet, so like I told you, I had my conversation with Eli back right after the season ended and we are where we are. Like Pat said, there’s a million different models, there’s a million different ways to do this and you could cite a number of models where they had a veteran guy and they drafted a young guy, and at some point in time, the torch got passed and away everybody went, and it was a happy away everybody went. So, there’s still a lot of time to make these decisions.”
The Eagles would hate to see Foles go to the Giants, but by letting him walk free and clear, that becomes a very realistic possibility. It will be interesting to see if the two sides spark up some sort of conversation.