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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — All signs point to Nick Foles, the Super Bowl LII MVP and folk hero in Philadelphia, playing elsewhere in 2019 despite the Eagles reportedly planning on franchise tagging the quarterback. The motive behind the tag may simply be from preventing Foles from playing for the New York Giants.
According to FanSided’s Jason Cole, the Eagles believe there’s a chance the Giants would move on from Eli Manning should Foles hit the open market.
Per Cole, the Eagles’ biggest consideration as they decide whether they’ll place the franchise tag on Foles is preventing the QB from playing with the Giants or in the NFC East. Washington also may be searching for a quarterback.
Keeping Foles from the division-rival New York Giants — assuming the Giants decide to move on from Eli Manning — appears to be the biggest consideration as the Eagles toy with the idea of putting the franchise tag on him. According to two NFL sources, Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is considering that idea after an exchange of moves that could potentially leave Foles as the top free agent quarterback on the market next month.
It should be noted Giants head coach Pat Shurmur has worked with Foles previously, in 2013 and 2014, when Shurmur was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator.
On Tuesday, the Eagles picked up Foles’ $20 million option, but Foles informed the team he’ll pay the $2 million to void the option. If the Eagles opt to franchise tag the quarterback, Foles would earn roughly $25 million in 2019.
That is a hefty price tag for a backup quarterback. The Eagles are committed to Carson Wentz as their franchise quarterback, and keeping Foles around another year may not work as smoothly as it did the previous two seasons.
There may be some legality issues if the Eagles franchise tag Foles with the intent of trading him. Per ProFootballTalk, it would reportedly violate the CBA.
Second, Foles and his agents should challenge the franchise tag, if it’s applied. Article 4, Section 8, subsection (b) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states as follows: “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” If the Eagles would simply be tagging Foles to trade him, Foles should invoke this provision and fight the tag, via an expedited grievance that would be resolved before the start of free agency.
However this plays out, Foles will more than likely be lining up under center elsewhere in 2019 because franchise tagging him at $25 million doesn’t make sense.
And it appears if the Eagles have their way, Foles will not be a New York Giant (or with Washington) next season.