Nick Foles appears to be headed to Jacksonville.
The Jaguars are expected to sign the free-agent quarterback to a multiyear contract when the new league year opens later this month. Jacksonville is expected to release Blake Bortles, their five-year starter at quarterback, and replace him with Foles.
Foles, 30, has come off the bench for Philadelphia each of the past two seasons in place of injured starter Carson Wentz, and led the Eagles to playoff runs. The 2017 season culminated in a Super Bowl championship for the Eagles and a Super Bowl MVP for Foles. After a 20-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs this past January, Foles made known his desire to find a team he can truly call his own.
“I would love to lead a team,” Foles said at the time. “The starter thing, leading a team, impacting a locker room … that’s why we play the game.”
In Jacksonville, Foles would reunite with John DeFilippo, whom the Jaguars hired in January to be the team’s offensive coordinator. DeFilippo was Foles’ quarterbacks coach with the Eagles during the team’s incredible dash to the Super Bowl title. The Jaguars are hoping the Foles-DeFilippo reunion will spark a team that played in the AFC Championship Game two years ago but finished with a disappointing 5-11 record in 2018.
The Eagles front office considered keeping Foles in Philadelphia, but ultimately opted to let him become a free agent. The value Foles adds as a quarterback and a teammate is rare.
A devout Christ-follower, Foles was far from signing a free-agent contract three years ago. In fact, he almost retired from football. He had lost his joy for the game after a broken collarbone in 2014 and a trade the St. Louis Rams in 2015, before being released by the team in 2016.
“I wanted to retire from the NFL, and I really struggled,” Foles said in a You Version Bible app devotional in 2017. “I couldn’t pick up a football for about eight months. I had no love for the game, and it was tough.”
Foles gave his inner struggle to Christ, and He answered Foles’ plea.
“I remember praying to God for guidance and I remember a sense of peace,” Foles said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast last year. “I realized I wasn’t trusting God. I wasn’t having faith in God to guide me. I was trying to do it in my own power and I was becoming extremely weak.”
Foles knew continuing his NFL career would be tough, but he leaned on his faith and decided to return. Soon, Foles fell in love with football again.
“When we take that field, we play for Christ. We give Him all the glory,” Foles said in 2013. “Jesus Christ is the greatest person to ever walk the face of the earth. He’s God.”
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