With free agency approaching (March 14), we're analyzing the quarterback position on the Philadelphia Eagles:
2018 cap hits of top returnees:
Carson Wentz -- $7.25 million
Nick Foles -- $7.6 million
Nate Sudfeld -- $630,000
Key stat: Wentz and Foles combined to throw a staggering 44 touchdowns to 10 interceptions during the 2017 season, including playoffs. Wentz, an MVP favorite before tearing the ACL in his left knee in December, finished second in the NFL with 33 TDs despite missing three-plus games. Foles picked up where Wentz left off and dazzled in the postseason, tossing six TDs to just one pick, and eventually was crowned Super Bowl MVP. There's not a better quarterback situation in football right now.
Money matters: Foles is an expensive backup. But he more than proved his value by helping to deliver the Eagles their first Super Bowl championship. And when you look at the QB position as a whole, it's a steal to have Wentz and Foles at a collective cap number of under $15 million. That's the benefit of having a star quarterback on a rookie deal. Things will change when Wentz gets his second contract -- he's eligible after the 2018 season -- but for now, the Eagles can enjoy the luxury of carrying a pricey No. 2.
Big picture: The Eagles are in tremendous shape at the quarterback position. When executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman returned to power in 2016, the organizational philosophy to invest heavily in quarterbacks was ratcheted up. They traded up twice in that April's draft to select Wentz at No. 2 overall. Despite landing their franchise quarterback, they continued to look for ways to better the position and moved on from Chase Daniel last offseason in favor of Foles. They have a Lombardi trophy as a result of that decision. They also like Sudfeld, the 24-year-old out of Indiana whom they picked up in September after the Washington Redskins released him. The plan is to continue to develop quarterbacks on the roster while providing Wentz everything he needs to be successful. It's an approach that already has paid big dividends.
The game plan: Everyone wants to know what the Eagles are going to do with Foles, and the answer is, it depends. It depends on the health of Wentz and how good they feel about him being fully rehabbed from tears to his ACL and lateral collateral ligament by opening day. And it depends on what kind of market shapes up for Foles. If a team comes calling with, say, a first-round pick, could the Eagles -- who are without a second- and third-rounder in April's draft -- refuse it? Bottom line, the organization is in a position of strength. They have Foles under contract for another year and certainly wouldn't mind having the Super Bowl MVP at their disposal next season. If they deal him, it will be because the compensation simply is too good to pass up.