PHILADELPHIA (94 WIP) -- The 2019 NFL Draft took a hit on Wednesday when Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert announced he would be staying in school next year. The decision means that any team looking for a quarterback at the top of the draft is going to have to look elsewhere.
The New York Giants are one of those teams that (likely) will be looking for a quarterback. They might not have to look very far to get one.
If the Giants indeed decide to move on from quarterback Eli Manning, a move they would be wise to make and one that would save them $17 million in cap space, it would not be surprising to see them go after Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who -- unless he leads the Eagles to another Super Bowl -- almost certainly won’t be back with the team in 2019 and will hit the free agency market this offseason.
Foles and the Giants make sense for a number of reasons.
First, Foles would be going to work with some familiar faces. The Giants are led by head coach Pat Shurmur, who worked with Foles during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Foles played some of his best football with Shurmur as his offensive coordinator, and even though the Giants run a much different system now than the Eagles did during those seasons, there would be some familiarity. Shurmur also comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree, giving him ties to two coaches — Reid and Doug Pederson — who have worked with Foles.
The Giants would be able to offer Foles something he wouldn't get elsewhere -- a chance to start with potentially no rookie knocking on the door behind him. The Giants are a wasteland at quarterback right now, and if they moved on from Manning, they would be in desperate need of a veteran signal caller. Assuming they don't draft a quarterback early this year (the draft is not strong at quarterback), Foles would be the undisputed starter in New York.
The Giants have one of the best running backs in the NFL in Saquon Barkley. Foles would be going into a situation where he could lean on the running game, and when asked to pass, have a better set of receivers than he currently has with the Eagles. The offensive line remains a mess in New York, but not many teams have a better set of skill-position players. Foles would be a great fit: He is a quarterback who simply sits back and distributes the ball.
Fourth, and finally, one of the most simple reasons is that the Giants are nearby. Foles has made it clear he loves this area, and that played a huge role in his decision to come back to Philadelphia prior to the 2017 season. With the Giants, Foles might not even have to move, and if he did, it wouldn’t be very far. The idea of Foles heading up the road to the Giants, and the Eagles having to face him twice a season when a large portion of the fan base wants him to stay, is not ideal for the team or quarterback Carson Wentz.
Sure, this is all looking far ahead. The Eagles' game against the Washington Redskins this Sunday, and their attempt to make the playoffs, is far more pressing.
But the discussions have started about what teams will need quarterbacks this offseason. It is hard to ignore the reality that one of the Eagles’ biggest rivals could come calling for their Super Bowl-winning quarterback — and they will likely be helpless to stop it.
By Eliot Shorr-Parks