The Philadelphia Eagles own an NFC-best four playoff victories since drafting quarterback Carson Wentz No. 2 overall in 2016. They're right on schedule, except for one detail: Nick Foles was the starting quarterback for all four postseason wins.
The Eagles' 20-14 defeat at New Orleans in the divisional round Sunday prevents Foles from competing for a second consecutive Super Bowl MVP award. Foles' success across two postseasons creates an unusual dynamic, however.
Philadelphia has a $20 million option to keep Foles in 2019. He could pay back $2 million in signing bonus to void the option if he thought a better opportunity awaited in free agency. The transition or franchise tags would allow the Eagles to regain control, but the price would rival or exceed the $20 million option. In the middle of all this, Wentz will become eligible for his own extension.
I've spent the past week talking through scenarios with NFL decision-makers to forecast the future for Foles and the Eagles. Team executives disagree over how the parties should and will proceed, hinting at the uncertainty of the situation. Three of their arguments take center stage here.
Scenario 1: Eagles exercise option, and Foles stays
Foles has been outstanding as a spot starter under coach Doug Pederson. His credentials as a full-time starter are spotty, especially when he left the Eagles in 2015. A strong case can be made that Foles fits best in Philadelphia while projecting as a higher-risk starter elsewhere.