Jets & Bears ‘Have Had Discussions’ on Quarterback Nick Foles

Nick Foles

Getty Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles warms up before a game on November 8, 2020.

New York Jets fans have clamored for a veteran backup at quarterback all offseason despite the coaching staff’s faith in the young room of signal-callers.

With a rookie at the helm in Zach Wilson, many believe a knowledgeable veteran would be helpful in more ways than one.

  • As a mentor that can aid Wilson in the trials and tribulations that await.
  • As an experienced backup that can take over in the event of an injury.
  • As serviceable competition that can push the BYU product in training camp.

“There’s a match that has to happen, there’s a scheme familiarity that has to happen,” explained head coach Robert Saleh back on June 15, 2021, “if you just bring in a veteran who doesn’t know anything about your scheme, well, he’s learning just like the rookie is.”

Saleh referred to the addition of a veteran quarterback as a “comforting feeling,” when they should be looking to develop players like James Morgan and Mike White.

The fanbase will have to agree to disagree on this one. Unless of course, this is all one big giant charade.

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New Information on Nick Foles Rumors

On July 20, 2021, Jets beat reporter Brian Costello of the New York Post shed some light on the Nick Foles situation.

“The Jets and Bears have had discussions, according to sources, but it seems unlikely that any deal will happen,” wrote Costello.

Now before you stop reading and think ‘what type of news is that?’ Please allow me to elaborate on this report.

To this point, Gang Green has denied all interest in signing a veteran backup at quarterback. Now all of a sudden a respected beat reporter is acknowledging that they have had discussions with the Chicago Bears for Foles. Excuse me, what?

Foles has been the hottest name in the backup QB conversation all spring and summer, but Costello points to his absurd contract as the deciding factor that has kept teams from agreeing to a trade. The former Super Bowl MVP is the projected third-string signal-caller for the Bears heading into training camp.

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The Anchor That Is Foles’ Contract

Chicago is currently stuck paying Foles $4 million guaranteed in 2021 ($6.67 cap hit) and $5 million guaranteed in 2022 ($10.67 cap hit). “The Bears surely would have to eat some of that contract to facilitate a trade,” added Costello.

About a month ago, I detailed a Jets trade package for Foles that made sense for several reasons.

  • Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory as a backup, AKA he’s done it before, performing at the highest level.
  • General manager Joe Douglas has a prior relationship with Foles from that Philly championship run.
  • Douglas also has a prior relationship with Bears GM Ryan Pace.
  • Foles has the football IQ to learn this scheme, as well as the high-character reputation to provide an impact as a leader and mentor.
  • Wilson and Foles both have a background forged from religion and faith.
  • Chicago is practically begging to get rid of the veteran so they can free up cap space.

My offer for Foles was a late-sixth rounder and Costello seems to concur: “If Chicago does get motivated to move Foles, the Jets have three sixth-round picks next year and could part with one of them for Foles.”

The Bears would also pay a portion of Foles’ salary in the agreement.

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Recent Tragedy Amplifies Jets ‘Need’

The recent heartbreaking loss of Greg Knapp influenced the entire landscape of the NFL. When someone of the quarterback guru’s pedigree suffers an unexpected accident, everyone takes notice. When that accident becomes fatal, the football world joins together solemnly in their honor.

Douglas and the Jets organization will grieve the loss of Coach Knapp just like everyone else, as a person, husband and father first and foremost.

From a teaching standpoint, there were few coaches like Knapp in this league. Saying that he will be sorely missed is a massive understatement.

Having said that, general managers are never afforded the luxury of happenstance. When a calamity occurs, they must adjust on the fly and rectify it. This tragedy can either become a disaster for the Green and White, or a rallying cry.

Douglas is no doubt aware that his rookie quarterback just lost his greatness mentor on this staff. Foles does not replace Knapp, but he can help Wilson develop and relieve some of the stress that the coach’s passing has caused.

If Foles doesn’t work out, a cheaper alternative might be to hire former Jets quarterback Josh McCown as an assistant to QB coach Rob Calabrese. McCown is looking to begin his career in the coaching world and he assisted Sam Darnold with a similar transition in 2018.

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