Eagles won't tag Nick Foles; QB to enter free agency

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Nick Foles is free.

Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman told reporters Wednesday that the team will not place the franchise tag on Foles. The Super Bowl LII MVP is a free agent.

"We've spent a lot of time discussing this internally and with him," Roseman said, "and we've decided to let Nick [Foles] become a free agent."

Roseman said the organization did not make the decision lightly.

"It's hard when you have someone who's incredibly available to your organization at the most important position in sports," Roseman told reporters. "And at the same time, we've had incredible success with him when he's had to play. Four playoff wins over the last two years. Great teammate. Huge resource for Carson [Wentz] and Nate Sudfeld, as well.

"But at the same time, he deserves an opportunity to lead a team. It's a goal of his to lead another team and lead another locker room."

"Nick and I got a lot of history together. All the way back to when we drafted him when I was on coach [Andy] Reid's staff here in Philly," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said of Foles. "We had conversations obviously at the end of the season and he knew where I stood and how I felt about him. But at the same time he was a tremendous, obviously, a huge part of our success these last two years. But again, a lot like Carson's case, he was one piece of the puzzle. It's an opportunity now as Howie mentioned to become a starter in this league. And he's very capable of doing that. I'm excited for his future."

Roseman did not go into trade discussions he had with other teams over Foles.

This comes after Philadelphia picked up Foles' $20 million option earlier this month, an option the QB promptly voided to become a free agent. The Eagles had the choice to place the franchise tag on Foles and attempt to trade him to a desired suitor, but the organization clearly chose against that tactic.

The 30-year-old quarterback will be the highest-profile free-agent QB on the market when the new league year begins on March 13. Foles will be free to sign with any team, including Philadelphia's division rivals in New York and Washington, both of whom have an uncertain future at the QB position.

Other potential landing spots for Foles include the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins. Jacksonville is moving on from Blake Bortles and just hired Foles' former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo as its offensive coordinator. Miami is similarly expected to part ways with Ryan Tannehill this offseason and undergo a rebuild. The Denver Broncos were an option until the team executed a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for Joe Flacco.

If you need a refresher on what Foles accomplished in his second stint in Philadelphia, here it is. In 2017, Foles took over for the injured Carson Wentz in Week 14 and led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title, earning Super Bowl MVP honors along the way. Foles started the 2018 season under center as Wentz wrapped up rehab, but was benched when the starter returned. Wentz was sidelined again, this time by a back injury, allowing Foles to retake the reins for the final three games. Again, the backup led a remarkable run into the postseason before Philly fell short in the Divisional Round.

In total, Foles won six of his eight regular-season starts, completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 1,950 yards, 12 TDs and six INTs. Foles won four of his five postseason starts, including Philly's win in Super Bowl LII.

Foles has not been an organization's true starting quarterback since 2015 when he started 11 games for the St. Louis Rams.

That figures to change in 2019.

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