Who could trade for Nick Foles? Two teams make the most sense


So if Nick Foles gets dealt, where’s he getting dealt to?

Seems like an important question to interject into the conversation about whether the Philadelphia Eagles should or shouldn’t trade the Super Bowl MVP this offseason. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the front office is setting the asking price high, telling inquiring teams that it will take more than the first- and fourth-round picks they received from the Minnesota Vikings for Sam Bradford to pry Foles away.

By our count, there are seven teams that seem like candidates to pursue a quarterback this offseason: the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals and the Vikings.

Are any of them prepared to make a hard charge for Foles? To get closer to an answer, we called on the NFL Nation reporters who cover those teams to get their read on it.

Arizona Cardinals

It’s possible. Is it likely? It all depends on how the legal tampering period before free agency plays out for the Cardinals. If they can get a quarterback without giving up anything in return, that would likely be their preferred route. However, if the Eagles are willing dance partners, the Cardinals have enough picks this season and coming up that they could make a deal enticing. But Arizona would have to be committed to sticking with Foles for the immediate future, whereas they could probably trade less and move up to draft one of the top quarterbacks coming out of college this year. — Josh Weinfuss

Buffalo Bills

There are aspects of a Foles-to-Buffalo trade that make sense. His $7.6 million cap number in 2018 would offer a discount over Tyrod Taylor and his $18.08 million cap number, especially if the Bills moved Taylor before his $6 million roster bonus becomes due March 16. Foles would give the Bills a better shot at contending in 2018 than Taylor, whose statistics have declined each of his three seasons with the Bills. The short-term financial commitment to Foles on essentially a one-year deal also would give the Bills flexibility to draft a quarterback in 2018 and transition away from Foles in 2019.

However, the biggest obstacle to any deal would be the cost. The Eagles are in a position of strength where they are not simply going to give Foles away for a mid- to late-round draft selection. It likely will take an early-round pick for the Bills to pry Foles away from Philadelphia, which eats into the stash of draft selections (five in the first three rounds) that general manager Brandon Beane has amassed potentially to trade up in the draft for a quarterback. Giving up an early-round pick for Foles and then allowing him to walk away in free agency next offseason could be viewed as a waste. — Mike Rodak

Cleveland Browns

The Browns owe it to themselves to see what the price would be for Foles, but their high draft position makes it less likely they pay the price if the Eagles demand a first-round pick. The Browns are not going to give up the first overall pick or the No. 4 pick for a quarterback who was signed to be a backup last season and whose career was on very shaky ground a year ago.

A report last week said the Eagles turned down the offer of a second-round pick, and though the team that made the offer isn’t known, the Browns do have three second-round picks. They offered one of them for Alex Smith before the Chiefs agreed to trade him to Washington. Is Foles equal to Smith? That’s a good debate. Reports say the Eagles want a first- and fourth-round pick for Foles, which they got a year ago for Bradford. The Browns won’t be giving up one of their first-round picks, and if the price drops, the Browns might already have moved on to a player like AJ McCarron. — Pat McManamon

Denver Broncos

It would be highly unlikely John Elway would give up the draft picks it would take to make a trade for Foles. He’d rather take his swing in free agency — Kirk Cousins, Josh McCown or Case Keenum — or use the No. 5 pick on a quarterback. This time around, if he were going to use a lot of draft capital in a trade, it likely would be to try to move up from No. 5. — Jeff Legwold

Minnesota Vikings

On the surface, this seems obvious. If the Vikings miss out on Kirk Cousins, why wouldn’t they engage in trade talks with the Eagles to bring in Foles as their new starting quarterback? If comfort and consistency are key — which they are in NFL offenses — there are few better spots for Foles than the one that would reunite him with John DeFilippo, Foles’ quarterbacks coach from Philly, whose coaching style and system he knows well.

But why would the Eagles want to trade their Super Bowl MVP to a team they could very easily see again in the NFC Championship Game, especially given that Carson Wentz might not be full-go by Week 1? They’d at least have to keep Foles for several games into the 2018 season until Wentz is able to take his job back. The Eagles also would want a lot in return for Foles. Are we so sure that the Vikings would want to give up another first- and fourth-round pick to the Eagles as they did for Bradford in 2016? Going after Foles, a quarterback who might not stay around for more than a season, doesn’t solve the Vikings’ problem of QB longevity, nor does it seem like a realistic option. — Courtney Cronin

New York Giants

Highly unlikely. If the Giants feel the need to acquire their next franchise quarterback, he’ll be readily available with the No. 2 overall pick. It wouldn’t cost them any assets and wouldn’t come with a high price tag. Trading for Foles would cost the Giants assets and they would have to sign him to a long-term deal to make it worth parting with those assets. The move just doesn’t make sense for either side, especially within the division, even if Giants coach Pat Shurmur has a strong relationship with Foles from their time working together in Philadelphia. — Jordan Raanan

New York Jets

Foles to the Jets is unlikely. They prefer free agency and the draft because they don’t want to part with the draft capital it would take to secure Foles. Obviously, their first-round pick (sixth overall) is too valuable to be included in any package. They have two second-round picks, but they won’t deal them unless they’re trading up to draft a quarterback. Their No. 1 priority is Cousins. Failing that, their fallback options are Josh McCown and/or Teddy Bridgewater and the draft. Foles would fit nicely in the Jets’ West Coast-style offense, but he’s not a match because of the potential compensation. — Rich Cimini

Analysis: Based on this exercise, the Cardinals and Browns seem like the two teams most open to exploring a trade for Foles, but it’s questionable whether he’s anyone’s Plan A. That makes sense. There’s a decent number of free-agent quarterbacks out there this year, including Cousins, Keenum, Bridgewater and McCarron, and several of these teams are well-positioned to take a quarterback high in the April draft. Why give up precious draft picks if you don’t have to? Unless someone is plain smitten with Foles, it seems his market would better develop after the top free-agent quarterbacks are off the board and the teams that come up empty begin setting their sights elsewhere.

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