Former G.M. Bill Polian said Monday that former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson should move to receiver. As it turns out, that was only the second dumbest thing Polian said Monday.
It’s a ludicrous, unrealistic assessment of the situation. The Eagles currently have Foles under contract for only one more season. He’ll revert to being a backup, behind Carson Wentz, in 2018. A year from now, Foles will be able to walk away, with the Eagles getting at most a compensatory draft pick in 2020.
Foles has trade value, but the Eagles should pounce on offers far less than two ones and a two. With more free-agent quarterbacks than ever available this year and a strong complement of incoming rookies, teams with needs will be able to fill them without getting grifted for Foles.
If the Eagles decide to reward Foles, who based on things said (and not said) last week may eventually be looking for one, a second-round pick (maybe even a high third-rounder) would be fair to everyone. If someone is willing to offer a first-round pick for Foles, the Eagles should rush to take it.
When it comes to putting a value on Foles, the problem is that, even though he took the Eagles to the Super Bowl and won it, he’s still regarded as a curiosity, an inconsistency. A guy who may never be able to duplicate what he did for the Eagles, especially if he’s playing for another team.
It’s not an unreasonable observation. When he played for teams other than the Eagles, Foles struggled. While there may be plenty of reasons for that unrelated to Foles, the likely reaction by the fan base of any team that trades for Foles will be, “Can he do what he did there here?”
That’s not the best way to generate offseason excitement, which is one of the realistic purposes of paying veterans with recognizable names. Foles definitely has a recognizable name, but he’s not widely regarded as a franchise quarterback. People still attach reactions like “fluke” and “luck” and “system” to his name, which will make it impossible for the Eagles to get the kind of windfall Polian recommends.