The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history in Super Bowl LII against defending champions, the New England Patriots, in a game that displayed QB Nick Foles’ ability to win in the spotlight. Despite his efforts in attempting a repeat-Super Bowl title, the Eagles made the executive decision to release Foles in Free Agency, effectively naming Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback. Below are the reasons why this was one of the worst moves in the franchise’s history.
We’ve Got a Man Down Over Here!
Throughout the entirety of Carson Wentz’s 4-year career, the quarterback has appeared in only one playoff game – a game in which he played only 9 snaps before suffering a concussion from a questionable hit by Seattle Seahawks DE Jadeveon Clowney. At 27 years old, Wentz has already suffered a broken bone in his throwing wrist (2015) – missing 8 weeks; a hairline fracture in his ribs (2016); a Grade 3 ACL and LCL tear (2017) – missing the postseason and 2 weeks of the 2018 season; back spasms (2018); and finally the concussion in the Wildcard Round (2020). Carson Wentz was praised as being the next superstar of the NFL after his 2017 campaign that landed him on the First-Team All-Pro roster despite his knee injury. Since that season however, Wentz has proven that he does not have the durability and the longevity to last in the NFL beyond 30-years old.
Thanks, but No Thanks
Nick Foles, since entering the league in 2012, has never been given the opportunity to show that he’s a starter in the NFL. His best season was in 2013 when he was selected to the Pro-Bowl and First-Team All-Pro after recording an 8-2 record, along with completing 203 of 317 pass attempts for 2,891 yards, 27 TDs and 2 INTs. After his career-year, he would fail to find a place in the starting lineup. He took a break from Philadelphia in 2015, where he was in St. Louis for 11 games and again in 2016 with Kansas City playing only 3 games for the Chiefs before returning to Philly again in 2017 as Carson Wentz’s backup. He would put himself back on the map, after an unfortunate injury to Wentz, as he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win after completing 77 passes on 106 attempts for 971 yards, 6 TDs and 1 INT in their playoff run with a perfect 3-0 record as the starter. He would win the Super Bowl MVP and be praised throughout the city as their hero. In 2018, when Wentz was injured yet again, Foles led another Super Bowl run that came up short in the NFC Divisional Round after a dropped-pass leading to a game ending interception. That offseason, the Eagles refused to resign Foles, letting him walk, as he ultimately ended up being signed by the Jaguars. From that point on, everyone in the world knew what Philly fans did not: the Eagles just lost their only ticket to another championship.
Next Man Up
The NFL has a code where when a player is injured, it’s up to the next guy in the depth chart to take his place and continue the fight. Without Foles behind Wentz however, there is no backup that can keep the Eagles in a game. When Carson Wentz left early in the first quarter of the NFC Wildcard Matchup, due to injury, 40-year old veteran Josh McCown was the only hope the Eagles had. He threw 24 passes, completing 18 for 174 yards and fumbled twice. With this embarrassing defeat, everyone is now aware of the situation in Philadelphia’s quarterback room: a guy who still maintains optimism for potential stardom, but fails to stay healthy on the field, and incompetent backup quarterbacks who are unprepared to be put in the game. Having Foles on the roster gave the Eagles the option to sub-in an elite quarterback, in the event Wentz suffered another injury. Though with Foles gone, there is no security anymore. All that’s left is an injury-prone quarterback who lacks leadership qualities. Wentz has a maximum of four years left in the NFL before he is forced to retire due to injury. Losing Nick Foles is perhaps the biggest mistake the Philadelphia Eagles have ever made.