By Michael Bennett
Ex-Eagles quarterback Nick Foles is now a Chicago Bear.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded Foles, who led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win two seasons ago, to the Chicago Bears just one year after giving Foles the most guaranteed money in franchise history.
The Bears are giving up their compensatory fourth-round pick (No. 140 overall), which now gives the Jaguars 12 picks in the upcoming NFL draft.
The move means the Jaguars will have to absorb $18.75 million in dead money in 2020. After cutting Blake Bortles last March, the Jaguars will now have paid $35.25 million in dead money over the past two offseasons.
Trading Foles means the Jaguars are going with second-year player Gardner Minshew as their starter, unless they plan to use their stockpile of picks to move up in the first round to draft a quarterback.
The Bears, meanwhile, entered Monday’s legal tampering period with an urgent goal to acquire a veteran quarterback to compete with starter Mitchell Trubisky.
The trade is just the latest twist in a twisting, emotional career for Foles since the Birds drafted him in the third round in 2012. He started six games as a rookie in place of an injured Michael Vick and came in to replace Vick again in 2013, throwing 27 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in 13 starts. Foles led the Eagles to the playoffs and was the offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl.
Foles was the Eagles’ unquestioned starter in 2014, but he suffered a broken collarbone in a Week 9 victory over Houston and finished the season on injured reserve. Coach Chip Kelly surprisingly traded him in the offseason to St. Louis for quarterback Sam Bradford, and Foles struggled with the Rams (7 TDs, 10 INTs) before being benched in favor of Case Keenum.
Foles has said multiple times that he considered retiring after the 2015 season because he had lost his love of the game. He agreed to sign with Kansas City as the backup to Alex Smith, mainly because he would be reunited with former Eagles coach Andy Reid.
Foles regained his passion for the game, went back to Philly as a backup QB and ended up coming off the bench in place of an injured Carson Wentz to start the final three games of the 2017 season. He threw for 971 yards and six touchdowns with one interception in three playoff games, and he was named MVP of Super Bowl LII after throwing for 373 yards and three touchdowns — and catching a TD pass — in a victory over New England.
He again backed up a healthy Wentz in 2018 but was pressed into service when Wentz suffered a back injury. Foles started the final five games of the regular season and two more in the postseason, which ended with the Eagles’ divisional round loss to New Orleans.
Foles bought out his contract with Philadelphia for $2 million in February 2019, and the Jaguars signed him to a four-year, $91 million contract with $50.125 million guaranteed. At the time, Jaguars owner Shad Khan said the team had dreamed of signing Foles since the 2018 season had ended.