Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles

A Closer look at Nick Foles heading to the Chicago Bears

  • Chicago Bears
  • Matt Nagy
  • Mitchell Trubisky
  • nfl free agency
  • Nick Foles
By Donnie Zelaya March 19, 2020 0 Comment
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The Chicago Bears acquire Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars providing competition for Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears starting quarterback position.

The quarterback carousel this offseason continues as the Chicago Bears have acquired Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Bears compensatory fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft. After just one season in Jacksonville, Foles will be playing for his third team in three years.

After a year of regression, general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy stated they would address all aspects of not only the roster but the operation of the organization as well. True to their word, new offensive coaches were brought in who have previous relationships with Nagy. Juan Castillo (offensive line), Bill Lazor (offensive coordinator), and John DeFillipo (quarterbacks coach) all have had stints with Andy Reid. It is well known that Matt Nagy came from the Andy Reid coaching tree. In acquiring Foles, Nagy is continuing the trend of surrounding himself on offense with proven names from his past.

The immediate reaction online, because where else are you going to get unbiased, rational views, was less than favorable. In a world where the hot takes get all the press and clicks, we will take a deep breath, sigh, and examine reasons why this was Chicago’s best option for 2020 and possibly even 2021.

FAMILIARITY:

During his career, Nick Foles has excelled most in the Andy Reid system. A system that Matt Nagy is currently running his variation of in Chicago. His numbers, outside of 2013’s 27 TD to 2 INTs, aren’t going to leap off the page. His career numbers say nothing but what they are, average at best. Average is what many Chicago Bears fans were screaming for after Mitchell Trubisky‘s disappointing 2019 season. With consistent quarterback play, many people inside of the organization and out felt the Bears could have made the playoffs.

As we don’t live in a world of woulda, coulda, and shoulda, Chicago now has a quarterback who knows the ins and outs of Matt Nagy’s system. The knowledge of the playbook won’t limit Nagy, as was the case last season. In a unique situation when the coronavirus will undoubtedly impact offseason work, Foles’ background with the playbook should give him a leg up in the quarterback competition.

PROFESSIONALISM:

In each of his stops before Jacksonville, Foles didn’t enter the season as the clear cut starting quarterback. In each situation, he conducted himself like any employer would hope. Foles showed up every day, put in the necessary work, didn’t complain or gripe about his situation, supported the coaches’ decision, and was ready when he eventually got his opportunity. Teammates and coaches across the board raved about his unselfishness. From the 2019 NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Philadelphia Eagles head coach, Doug Pederson, had this to say about Foles,

“The subject was new Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles, and it unsurprisingly was one to which Pederson – the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach – immediately warmed. “They’re getting a great person,” Pederson said. “He’s not going to be a rah-rah guy,” Pederson said. “He’s not going to stand on the table and say, ‘Hey, follow me.’ He’s one of those guys who’s going to lead by example. He’s going to work extremely hard. He’s going to be in early and out late. He’s going to demand excellence from everybody.”

In Chicago, the pressure will undoubtedly be on Trubisky, the incumbent starter. The noise and criticism from fans and media are going to get louder than it has in quite some time. Having a player of Foles’ stature who has already demonstrated a calming demeanor and level-headedness in similar situations will go further than we can anticipate this season.

MONEY:

Despite all the initial over-reactions to the Bears assuming the remainder of Foles’ contract to the tune of $50 million, a contract re-structure was agreed upon, similar to the Ryan Tannehill situation for the Titans last offseason. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the contract is essentially a 3-year deal with $21 million guaranteed.

The combined cap hit for Foles and Trubisky will be roughly $25 million, according to Spotrac.com. While it’s not ideal, it’s manageable in 2020. At a time when the Bears are tight against the cap (currently they sit at just over $7.5 million in cap room) contracts like Cam Newton‘s $19.1 million hit or Derek Carr‘s $19 million would have been more challenging to fit under the cap by the end of business on March 18th. Of the two, only Newton was available via trade. It would be nice if the two sides could have worked out a contract. The unfortunate truth is that health issues and unknowns in the familiarity with Nagy’s system are what pushed the Bears to Nick Foles.

LEGITIMATE DEPTH:

Very few NFL teams are afforded the luxury of having two starting-caliber quarterbacks on their roster. Chase Daniel, while competent and knowledgeable with the offense in Chicago, was never a threat to come in and effectively run the offense. If Trubisky is to win out in the “competition” this offseason, he will have a short leash. He will understand that Foles will be ready to step in at the first signs of “trouble.” If called into duty, Foles has proven he’s capable of taking over and truly leading an offense.

We finally know who the quarterbacks will be in Chicago for the 2020 season. While it may not be the guy fans wanted, Chicago did what we thought they wouldn’t do. They brought in competition for Trubisky. It’s time to accept the reality of the situation and see how it plays out.

Instead of leaving dejected and enraged, let’s see what some people with some NFL experience think of the move.

ESPN’s Louis Riddick, who also worked both sides of the fence as a player and personnel man, understands the Bears’ decision.

Former player Kyle Long chimed in as well.

At the end of the day

One way or another, the quarterback position for the Chicago Bears will be resolved once the season starts. Be it Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles, whoever is guiding the offense doesn’t need to be a Pro Bowler or All-Pro. They don’t need to set new passing records or dazzle the media and fans with their play. They need to be efficient and consistent. The offense needs to play off what hopes to be a stout defense that has bolstered its forces this offseason. So long as it results in a deep playoff run that culminates with the Lombardi Trophy returning to Halas Hall, all of this angst will be forgotten

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