The Future of Nick Foles


Aug 15, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) runs for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week Eagles head coach Chip Kelly named Michael Vick the starter for the upcoming season, beating out 2nd year guy Nick Foles in a heated QB competition that last a good part of the summer. Although Kelly took a lot of criticism, it seemed that the fight brought out the best in both quarterbacks but Vick simply looked better. Foles was able to move the ball but not with the efficiency Vick  showed and with none of the athletic ability.

Jun 4, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) and quarterback Michael Vick (7) pass the ball during minicamp at the NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

So what does this mean for the future of Nick Foles? Well this is a really hard question. At first glance it seems obvious: There’s no real reason to get rid of Foles. Vick has never been able to stay healthy and Foles has shown he can at least be effective in Chip’s offense. His cap number is around $600,000 which is a price any team in the league would be willing to pick up for a competent backup QB. People would also be quick to point out Matt Barkley simply isn’t ready to be an effective NFL QB yet. Most agree that Vick is not the QB of the future, so why not let Foles back him up this year and then take another crack at the starting job next year?

But let’s look at things from the other side of the fence. First and foremost, I don’t think Nick Foles trade value would ever be as high than it is right now. He’s coming off a preseason where he has shown he can digest a Chip Kelly playbook. He can run the no huddle offense and for the most part he can make good reads. Besides a few mistakes, he’s looked very efficient. While the read option offense is definitely not tailored for a skill set like Foles’, I’m sure there’s a few coaches out there who would be very intrigued by what Foles could possibly do in a more traditional offense. While his deep ball may be lacking, a 6’6 passer with good pocket awareness and quick decision making could draw some interest from around the league.

Aug 9, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley (2) passes the ball during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The next point would be what the heck would we do if (when?) Vick gets injured? Chances are if Vick goes down, and probably even if he doesn’t, the Eagles aren’t making any deep playoff runs this season. At the point the season turns more into evaluation mode. If this were to happen, I would be very willing to throw Matt Barkley into the fire and see how he handles getting his feet wet. This will be a true test to see if he is going to be the heir to the throne or an adequate backup.

It’s become clear that Chip Kelly has a certain type of ideal offense in mind that he wants to run. While he can make do with some guys, this ideal offense involves a certain skill set at QB that I feel Barkley and Foles simply do not have. You have to think that barring a deep playoff run with Vick, the pressure will be on the Eagles to look for their franchise quarterback in the first round of the 2014 draft. If you do add that guy, you have a very crowded QB situation with a lot of young guys with not much proven NFL talent.

If it were up to me, I would say if someone calls up with a 2nd or 3rd rounder for Foles then pull the trigger. With Foles and Barkley you have a similar skill set at a similar age, with Barkley getting the edge because of his college record, stats, and overall pedigree. Plus he’s a Kelly pick. If Vick goes down you ride out the season for with Barkley – if it doesn’t turn out you’re most likely looking at a high pick in the 1st round next year where you can try to get a guy like Teddy Bridgewater. Having that high pick you received Foles would be more ammunition to make a trade up the board if need be.

What are your thoughts? Keep Foles or go with Barkley? Leave it in the comments below.

Follow Adam on Twitter @ITIAdam