(Reuters) – For the last two years Nick Foles has stepped in to rescue Philadelphia but Sunday in Chicago might be the last time the Super Bowl-winning quarterback pulls on an Eagles jersey.
FILE PHOTO: Dec 30, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws a touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears, the biggest favorites of this weekend’s wild card playoff games, are the odds-on choice to put the clamps on another Philadelphia run.
With that would come hard decisions for the Eagles, who most likely will be trading Foles or sending him off to free agency.
Injured Carson Wentz, for whom Foles filled in during the 2018 Super Bowl run and the recent surge that got the Eagles in the playoff again, will be back calling signals.
Then there is the question of whether Philadelphia would be willing to pay Foles the $20 million he is due if he stays or would he rather test free agency.
The Eagles made it clear last year after Foles led them to the Super Bowl win that Wentz was still their man.
After all, the 2016 first-round draft choice has all the qualities wanted in an NFL quarterback. As Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out, Wentz offers a strong arm, accuracy, the ability to make plays with his running and reigns as a recognized leader when healthy.
Yet there is Foles, who has the Eagles on a surprising three-game winning streak when their playoff hopes seemed marginal at best.
This despite the 29-year-old’s softer throws, more limited mobility and a quieter personality.
“He’s always positive,” said Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. “No matter how we’re doing. No matter if everyone thinks they stink, he’s going to say, ‘Hey guys, I think we’re really close to being good again.’ “
Foles also has found a coach in Doug Pederson whom he considers genuine.
“Sometimes people’s title or role changes, and all of a sudden, they’re a different person,” Foles said. “They puff out their chest a little bit more. That’s something that I’m not drawn to.”
But will the relationship continue?
There is a lot weighing on the Bears game for both Foles and the Eagles.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford