Nick Foles had the chance to return to the team he won a Super Bowl with, and he apparently refused.
According to NFL insider Tyler Dunne, the Chicago Bears were looking to move on from the veteran signal-caller after his none-too-impressive 2020 campaign — and the team had a particular trade partner in mind — but Foles didn’t want to return to the Philadelphia Eagles.
“The Bears tried cleansing their hands of the Nick Foles mistake by trading Foles back to Philly. Foles didn’t want to go, one source says, so the Eagles refused to trade for a QB who wouldn’t report,” Dunne reported May 24.
Interesting — so the Eagles didn’t want Foles because he would not have reported to camp? Foles is still a beloved figure in Philadelphia after helping the team win its only Super Bowl, so it’s somewhat surprising he didn’t want to return.
Another NFL insider, Adam Caplan, reported on May 7 that the Bears had tried to trade Foles, but no one wanted him. Perhaps no one wanted him because he didn’t want to leave the Windy City. The 32-year-old vet has played for three different teams over the past three years, so it’s entirely possible he just wanted to stay put.
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Dunne: Presence of Foles Has Not Helped Bears This Offseason
Dunne also revealed that in rolling with Foles and Foles alone, the Bears would have been fleeced in the NFL Draft when trading up for quarterback Justin Fields. Chicago moved up from No. 20 to No. 11 overall, sending two firsts and some change to the New York Giants for Fields, but Dunne says the team would have paid far more without the addition of Andy Dalton:
Without Dalton’s presence, one league source puts (it), the Giants would’ve taken the Bears to the ‘woodshed.’ ‘Imagine doing that when all you have is Nick Foles — you’re in trouble,’ he says. They could say to teams, ‘We’ve already committed to Dalton as a starter so what you’re asking for is too rich. We can’t do it.’ Where before, if it’s Nick Foles, it’s ‘Bro, I’m going to take you for f—— everything you’ve got. We all know you’re not going into the year with that because you’ll get fired by Week 3.’ It’s just reality.
While Foles, who went 2-5 as a starter with Chicago last season, hasn’t given the team much insurance, head coach Matt Nagy says the veteran’s knowledge may be quite beneficial to Fields in the future.
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Bears Will Look for Value in Foles as a Mentor to Fields
“What I love about our environment is the veteran quarterbacks that we have in that room—like, I don’t know if you look around the league, how many teams have that kind of experience in the room,” Nagy said, according to ESPN, after the Bears drafted Fields.
“How great is that for a young rookie to come on in and learn from a guy like him (Dalton) and Nick Foles, and see there’s things that he can take from them and really put into his toolbox and use to make him be the greatest quarterback he can possibly be?” Nagy added, according to The Athletic.
“You guys know that I have a really good relationship with Nick,” the Bears coach continued. “Nick and I have had some really good conversations, healthy conversations, since the end of the season. Nick, his mindset right now, he’s in a really good place. All he wants to do is be the best teammate he can be, be the best player he can be, support all of us, and we want to support him.”