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Rife with juicy narratives, the NFL remains one of the nation’s most original and long-standing reality shows. From August through February, the drama is televised in hour long episodes. Throughout the spring and summer, the intrigue spills beyond the sticks, enticing viewers with tales of cunning, redemption, and betrayal. At the center of these unfolding plot lines, often exists a player. Whether they’re returning from injury, moving teams, or grasping at relevance, these men captivate our attention.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be examining the 10 most interesting players of the offseason. As their situations develop, updates will be made to each story. The hope is that this becomes a hub of conversation for the league’s most compelling names… and devoted aficionados.
After leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history, Foles entered the 2018 season seemingly content to close out his days in Philly as Carson Wentz’s back-up. Who could blame him? He was a real-life David, defeating the Patriotic Goliath and embodying the underdog spirit with which the city so proudly identifies. And so the legend of #BigNickEnergy was firmly set into motion. That was, however, until the team’s rightful and expected leader failed to stay healthy… for the second year in a row.
Hobbled by a stress fracture in his back, Wentz was shut down after Week 14. (Coincidentally, his last game of 2017 – caused by an ACL tear – was also during Week 14.) Enter Foles, who, over the last three weeks of the regular season, pushed the ball deep to Alshon Jeffery and trusted in both the wideout’s catch radius and his ability to win contested to catches (to the tune of 16-301-1). The strategy was a sound one (except in the Divisional Round), as Foles led the Eagles to three consecutive wins and secured a second-straight postseason appearance.
While a trip to Atlanta wasn’t in the cards for Philly, Foles again proved his mettle as a capable chain mover (Pressured Completion Percentage = 62.5) in December and January. And the best-selling author is clearly drinking his own Kool-Aid. Rather than staying in the City of Brotherly Love as a QB2, Foles believes he can lead an offense. In fact, earlier this month the Texas native spent $2 million to decline his $20 million option with Eagles… and effectively became a free agent.
Where he will end up remains one of the hottest debates on social media. The frontrunner appears to be Jacksonville. They’re out of the division (which means Philly would be comfortable making them a trade partner) and the Jag’s new OC John DeFilippo was Foles’ QB coach in 2017.
From a fantasy perspective, the Giants would be an ideal fit, given their stable of sure-handed receivers and offensive weapons, but an intra-division trade feels far-fetched. That same thinking would hold true for Washington. Plus, the Redskins don’t have enough cash to make this deal happen. As for Miami, if the organic tanking rumors are true then it’s a fine spot, but I certainly wouldn’t want to invest in a team that’s punting on the season.
Undoubtedly, Foles knows how to catch lightning in a bottle. But in order to be fantasy relevant, he’ll need a receiver who isn’t afraid to reach for the sky. We’ll see if the fake football gods grant him the necessary star skimmers.
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