Nick Foles a Fine Insurance Policy for Now

Jets explanation about backup quarterback situation suggests there could be no market for Nick Foles in the Big Apple.
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The thought the Bears might trade Nick Foles to the New York Jets came supported by sound logic.

Quarterbacks Zach Wilson, James Morgan and Mike White went through the offseason work with the Jets and between them haven't started a single NFL game. Finding a veteran backup behind Wilson only makes sense, but the Jets have resisted so far.

According to Max Goodman of FanNation's Jets Country, it's possible the Jets could still trade for one or sign someone. However, according to the criteria put forth by coach Robert Saleh at minicamp, Foles wouldn't even qualify.

Saleh wants a veteran quarterback who knows the Kyle Shanahan style of offense used by new offensive coordinator

"There's a match that has to happen," Saleh told reporters. "There's a scheme familiarity that has to happen. If you just bring in a veteran who doesn't know anything about your scheme, he's learning just like the rookie is. I don't know if there's much value aside from being comfortable that if the crap hits the fan you have a veteran who has played football."

Well, there is actually value in this and Saleh should know because he went through some years in San Francisco when the backup help behind Jimmy Garoppolo was insufficient to prop up the team.

Still, Foles has not played in a Shanahan offense. The Bears did switch to some of the quarterback movement elements and bootlegs that go with an outside zone blocking scheme for the running game midway through 2021, but they weren't necessarily running the Shanahan style of offense. It was more of a Bear adaptation blending some elements of this into the Kansas City offense.

It's possible the Jets could realize the pickle they're in with raw inexperience throughout their quarterback room.

"Once these minicamps are over, we'll sit down with (GM) Joe (Douglas) again and we'll have a conversation about where the roster is and we'll make the decision during the next few weeks," Saleh said.

It would be difficult to see the Bears getting anything more than a sixth- or seventh-round pick for Foles, after they spent only a fourth-rounder to acquire him and he played at a low level in 2020. Foles finished with an 80.8 passer rating and a miserable 5.9 yards per pass attempt while the Bears went 2-5 in his starts. He did beat Atlanta in a relief role, though.

Still, teams can get desperate as the regular season approaches. If it's not the Jets, the Bears ought to offer Foles to the Dallas Cowboys.

If Dallas thought last year went poorly after Dak Prescott's injury with Andy Dalton as backup, they'd really be looking at a bleak situation with Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci as their options. DiNucci got a start last year and averaged 5.1 yards an attempt in his three games. Rush has three NFL passing attempts and hasn't had one since 2017. And Gibert has one NFL start in three seasons with 44 pass attempts.

Pro Football Weekly's Hub Arkush suggested the Bears let Foles compete for the starting quarterback spot instead of automatically relegating him to third string. He pointed out it would make sense to let Dalton and Foles both share first- and third-team snaps while Justin Fields gets back up snaps.

In Dalton, though, the Bears have a player with 142 NFL starts in 10 seasons while Foles in nine years has 55 starts.

Arkush points out there's not really much difference between the two, and this is probably true. He did bring up Dalton's 0-4 playoff record and Foles' Super Bowl MVP season in Philadelphia.

In the interest of fairness, it must also be pointed out when Foles isn't wearing a Philadelphia Eagles uniform he has a career quarterback rating of 79.7, has thrown for only 6.3 yards per attempt and has a 7-16 starting record.

Foles owns more experience in the Bears offense than either of the other two after he was asked to do the unthinkable and compete for the starter job last year without any offseason snaps.

For now, the only focus the Bears should have at quarterback is getting Justin Fields ready to play. Any quarterback who takes away practice snaps is actually a hinderance, whether it's Dalton or Foles.

Keeping Foles as an emergency third-team QB until possibly the October trade deadline would seem like a safe, wise move. The Bears used three quarterbacks last year and in 2016 actually used four.

Then again, even experience and wisdom has a price. 

They can save $4 million now under their cap if they find a willing trading partner before the season, and they could always use the money for extra tackle or cornerback help.

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