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Will Nick Foles, Eagles split get ugly?

Eliot Shorr-Parks
January 21, 2019 - 5:30 am

Up until now, everything between the Eagles and quarterback Nick Foles has been like something out of a storybook. 

The Eagles love Foles. Foles loves the Eagles. The relationship has been a fruitful one. 

This offseason, however, the harsh reality of the business side of the NFL could very well put some real tension between the two sides as they head towards a split. 

Although neither has said outright what they wanted to do, the messages from both the Eagles’ front office and Foles have been clear. The Eagles are going to do what is best for the Eagles. Foles wants to be a free agent. Those two things might result in a nasty battle between the team and their only Super Bowl winning quarterback. 

As unlikely as it is that the Eagles will keep him in 2019, that doesn’t mean they won’t try to control where he plays next. Top personnel executive Howie Roseman said the Eagles will do what is best for the team, and depending on what they hear from teams around the league, that could mean preventing Foles from becoming the free agent he wants to be. Foles is an extremely valuable asset right now in a league without many quality starting quarterbacks. It isn’t crazy for the Eagles to try to think of a way to trade him instead of just letting him walk. 

No, the Eagles can’t force Foles to pick up the mutual option on his contract, but they can franchise tag him, as ESPN’s Chris Mortensen suggested on Sunday, to prevent him from signing from any team he wants. Tagging him would also allow the Eagles to try to trade him once the new league-year begins. 

If the Eagles did tag Foles, that would put the quarterback in a tough spot. 

Would Foles continue to play Mr. Nice Guy, or would he make his likely unhappinesses with the Eagles’ decision known? Despite being tagged, Foles would have plenty of power as a player on essentially a one-year, $25 million deal if he let teams that wanted to trade for him know he didn’t want to be there. Foles’ potentially voicing his displeasure would make him nearly impossible to trade and put a major wrench in any potential plan the Eagles might have to trade him. 

As of now, this is all looking ahead. It is possible the Eagles simply let Foles walk away as a free agent. It is also possible the two sides decide not to split. That shouldn’t be ruled out. 

What will be very interesting to watch, however, is how two sides that have very different goals for this offseason handle what has to potential to put a nasty end to an otherwise storybook relationship. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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