Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Real Meaning Of Nick Foles' Return To The Eagles

Nappy D Is Back
So the Eagles decided that spending $7mm a year on a guy that hopefully will never play wasn't enough, and decided to bring home one-time Young Gun QB Nick Foles, releasing one-year wonder why that happened Chase Daniel. The move comes with a cap hit, which might go away if Daniel gets a big money job with another NFL franchise, which is to say, the Eagles will get cap relief if pigs fly out of my butt. Seeing as I don't eat a lot of pig anymore -- that's pricey protein! -- we're not holding our breath. But let's get beyond the money being spent and into the personnel.

For a guy that supposedly knew the offense and had such a good rapport with HC Doug Pederson, Daniel never looked like, well, a guy that was at all comfortable here. He's small, not as mobile as you might hope for, and the ball just doesn't look good coming out of his hands. His preseason work last year was punctuated with nothing encouraging, and dude was seemingly asking for his release even before the Foles trade, because he's still got dreams of QB1. Which seems nuts to me, but what the hell, Cleveland exists, and multiple McNowns and Detmers have gotten snaps, so you do you, son.

However, honestly, why does anyone who is on path to make eight figures in lifetime earnings without having to put up with the life-threatening misery of QB1... really want to step up in weight class? Life is short, concussions are probably inevitable and not something everyone just gets better from, and QB2 is the cushiest job in football. No one expects you to win games, you are super popular so long as no one has to see you work, and so long as you don't raise a ruckus while you carry your clipboard, all is well. Maybe you have to do some special teams work and hang out with the kicker a little, but still. I've had worse gigs. You probably have, too.

As for Foles... well, he's got the fluke year to end all fluke years in Nero Kelly Year One, and his career won-loss record might be better than any QB2 in the NFL, given that the club went 6-2 when he was under center in the follow-up year. (Foles really didn't have much to do about that, and played shaky / was hurt enough to make Nero pull the trigger for Sam Bradford, but, um, Nero.)

Foles is, of course, tall as hell, about as mobile as a futon, turnover-prone and doesn't throw nearly as nice of a deep ball as you might imagine for a moose... but QB2 standards are quite low, and he's certainly more of a physical match for Carson Wentz than Daniel, at least until he actually has to move his feet. I'd prefer my backup to be mobile, because I generally suspect that QB2 got into the game because QB1 got hurt when the rush took him out, but we're not going to quibble about this. All you really hope to have here is a guy that gives you a chance, and Foles probably does that better than Daniel.

Unfortunately, money paid to QB2 still counts against the salary cap, and Foles is going to make even more than Daniel... which gets us to true WTFery. You'll notice that Smart Teams (New England, Seattle) never spend big on the back up, and yet they still get production out of That Guy, because they coach the hell out of them. The fact that the Eagles under Howie Rosemann / Doug Pederson keep hiring very expensive binkies should be seen as what it is: a vote of no confidence in a young coach that isn't elevating the talent.

So. Foles in for Daniel, and from an on the field product standpoint, probably a good signing. From a GM / what it all means standpoint? Not so much...

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