The year was 2019. Nick Foles signed a lucrative 4-year, $88-million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. That was the most money ever given to a single player in Jaguars history.
Fast forward a year later and Foles has been traded to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick after a fellow Pac-12 signal-caller beat him out for his job. The Jaguars will now absorb the massive $18.75 million in ‘dead money’ for Foles contract as jettisoned to Chicago for a compensatory pick — No. 140 in next month’s draft.
Gardner Minshew is now the man in Jacksonville after his then-record-breaking season at Washington State made him more famous and NFL-ready than even his current team probably thought so when they selected him 178th pick in the sixth round of the 2019 draft.
So for Foles, this marks his fifth team and sixth time venturing to a new camp after a season as he’s had two stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and now one-year trips with the Rams, Chiefs and Jaguars. Foles’ first stint with the Eagles saw him traded in the middle of the 2015 season after then coach Chip Kelly traded for Sam Bradford to run his up-tempo offense.
Foles famously said he considered retirement following his trade but opted to play for his former head coach Andy Reid as Alex Smith’s backup in Kansas City. He then ventured back to the City of Brotherly Love to backup Carson Wentz and subsequently lead them to a Super Bowl victory when he replaced an injured Wentz. Foles cashed in another Wentz injury the following season, playing well enough to warrant the Jaguars handing him the largest contract in their history.
Yet, Foles attempted just 117 attempts in his Jaguars career, completing 77 of them for three scores and two interceptions. He returned following an injury sustained in Week 1 for Jacksonville’s Week 11 game against Indianapolis but couldn’t keep Minshew from the starting lineup following a poor performance against a disastrous Buccaneers secondary in Week 13.
So now with Chicago, the Bears will take on the final three years of the massive contract, roughly a base value of $50 million, per ESPN’s Field Yates. What this means for Mitchell Trubisky is certainly unknown at this point but it doesn’t look good for the young quarterback from North Carolina who has struggled to find his place with the fans in Chicago.
Foles played his college ball for Arizona after transferring from Michigan State in 2008 and sitting out a year. He attempted a whopping 1,396 passes in his Wildcat career, completing 933 of them for 10,011 yards and 67 touchdowns against just 33 picks. His big arm saw him complete a career-high 69.1% of his passes for 4,334 yards and 28 touchdowns in his final season with Arizona, ranking first in the Pac-12 and fifth among all FBS quarterbacks with an average of 352.5 yards of offense per game.