Nick Foles trade grades: Bears get competition for Mitch Trubisky, Jaguars all-in on Minshew Mania a full-go


When you have two quarterbacks, you really have none. That cliche has been around longer than Tom Brady, but it still rings true. The Jacksonville Jaguars, with both Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew on their roster, decided to go all-in Minshew Mania on Wednesday, trading Foles to the Chicago Bears for a fourth-round pick. Minshew, who enjoyed a surprisingly successful rookie season, no longer has to look over his shoulder, while Foles, a former Super Bowl MVP, will now play for his third team in as many seasons. The Jaguars get to clear a whole lot of salary cap space by getting rid of Foles just one offseason after signing him to a massive contract.

Here’s our initial grades and analysis of the trade. 

Jaguars: C+

By dealing Foles, the Jaguars essentially paid $30.5 million for one season (seven games, to be specific) of Foles’ services, as pointed out Wednesday by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Foles also leaves behind $18.75M in dead money on the salary cap. That’s bad news for a team that has a considerable amount of needs and limited cap space.  

While the financial part of this trade is ugly, the Jaguars made the right move dealing Foles now. It’s clear that they believe that Minshew is their guy moving forward, and instead of waiting around waiting for a better offer, the Jaguars’ brass decided to act now and trade Foles for a 2020 mid-round pick. Considering the season Foles had last season (he failed to win one of his four starts in Jacksonville) and the amount of other soon-to-be-available quarterbacks on the market (Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, etc.), the Jaguars probably weren’t going to do much better than the fourth-round pick they received from Chicago. 

With Foles gone, the Jaguars can now look to find another backup for Minshew. And with the fourth-round pick they received from Chicago, they have one more asset to either fill that hole or one of their other needs during next month’s draft. 

Bears: D-

Nothing says “I believe in you” like trading a valuable draft pick for a former Super Bowl MVP. While Trubisky did underperform last season, he was just one season removed from helping lead the Bears to the playoffs as a rookie. And it wasn’t like the Bears surrounding Trubisky with a ton of support, as Chicago finished 27th in the league in rushing in 2019 after watching their offensive line undergo major regression.

Like the Jaguars a year ago, the Bears are not set up to spend a season in limbo. When Trubisky inevitably has a bad game, everyone will be clamoring for Foles. If he struggles, what do you do now? That’s the situation the Bears have created for themselves for the 2020 season. 

One of the worst parts of this trade is the Bears giving up one of their few picks in the draft. Already without a first-round pick, the Bears are now left with four picks in this year’s draft. And while their roster has a decent amount of talent, Chicago, who does not have a lot of cap space, now has one less draft pick to help them address their needs at cornerback, edge rusher, and inside linebacker. 

If the Bears really wanted to end the Trubisky experiment, they should have either found a way to acquire one of the big-name free agent quarterbacks in free agency (either by trading a valuable asset and/or giving up multiple picks). But with the acquisition of Foles, you’re essentially setting yourself up for quarterback controversy, the No. 1 thing teams try to avoid. 

The Bears avoid getting an F because there’s the off chance that the move either motivates Trubisky to play the best football of his career or leads to Foles recreating the magic that he gave the Eagles during the 2017 and ’18 seasons. But that would be a far stretch for even Hollywood, let alone Chicago. 





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