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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Nick Foles deserved his freedom. The former Super Bowl MVP and eternal Philadelphia legend, was given his autonomy when Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman announced that the Eagles will not place the franchise tag on Foles at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday.
It’s the fair move to Foles so he can test the free agent market – and it’s the fair move to Carson Wentz, who now won’t have a looming shadow hanging over his shoulder, though Foles and Wentz have a great relationship.
“We’ve spent a lot of time discussing this internally and with [Foles]. We’ve decided to let Nick become a free agent,” Roseman told reporters. “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,” Roseman added.
A third-round draft pick in 2012 out of Arizona by Andy Reid, Foles threw 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions in making the Pro Bowl. After the 2014 season, the Eagles – or more so Chip Kelly – traded Foles to the St. Louis Rams for Sam Bradford.
In 2017, Foles returned to back up Wentz. He played in the final three regular-season games and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
He added to his legendary story when he led the Eagles into the playoffs after Wentz suffered a back injury this past season.
It was not an easy choice for the Eagles to let Foles go.
“Nick and I got a lot of history together,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said to gathered reporters on Wednesday. “All the way back to when we drafted him when I was on coach [Andy] Reid’s staff here in Philly. We had conversations obviously at the end of the season and he knew where I stood and how I felt about him.”
“But at the same time, he was a tremendous, obviously, a huge part of our success these last two years,” added Pederson. “But again, a lot like Carson’s case, he was one piece of the puzzle. It’s an opportunity now as Howie mentioned to become a start in this league. And he’s very capable of doing that. I’m excited for his future.”
Now, the Eagles belong to Carson Wentz.