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Eagles Analysis: Examining the Nick Foles Contract Situation

When they saw “Colin Kaepernick signs $121 million extension with 49ers” as the headline of every major sports website this past Wednesday, Nick Foles and Howie Roseman likely had two very different mindsets: for Foles, it probably came down to the three digits before the “million” in “million-dollar extension,” but for Roseman, it was all about the incentives and restrictions San Francisco included in Kaepernick’s contract.

Foles’ agent, David Dunn, who has experience negotiating big deals for QBs (via USA Today)

At the end of the 2014 season, when the Eagles will finally be released from their CBA restriction and be allowed to negotiate with Foles, the quarterback will be in a very similar situation as Kaepernick. Just like Kaepernick, Foles will have one year left on his rookie contract, and will be set to make less than $800,000 even with proration and incentives. Just like Kaepernick, he will have had approximately two seasons-worth of starting experience with his current team—as long as he stays relatively healthy in 2014.

Initially, people around the city of Philadelphia were rather nervous about Kaepernick’s big-number deal, thinking it would be the starting point for any negotiations with Foles. After taking a deeper look, however, one sees that the Eagles are in a very advantageous position with regards to Foles for a number of reasons.

1. Time Is On Their Side

Many in the fanbase are concerned with whether or not Foles is even the real deal. Luckily, the Eagles have a full season to evaluate him before negotiating at all with their 2012 3rd-round pick. If Chip Kelly likes what he sees, the Eagles can lock him up this offseason before he hits the open market.

If Foles struggles a bit, however, the Eagles have two options: look for a replacement through the draft or free agency after this season or give him a chance in 2015, the final year of his rookie deal, to perform at a high level again. Regardless, time is on the Eagles’ side with Foles.

2. Eagles Have Financial Leverage

Foles threw for 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in 2013; the Eagles get to see whether or not that was a fluke before committing (via Getty Images)

If Foles plays even moderately well in 2014, he will be seeing inferior or comparable quarterbacks making millions of dollars while he rakes in a base salary of only $610,000. Foles will have a year of near-minimum money left on his rookie deal after this season, and the Eagles will dangle that reality over his head.

While some players believe firmly in their own ability and talent, others fear the possibility of a down year or even a freak injury that could seriously alter their situation. This could lead the Eagles to get Foles at a relative bargain on a long-term deal, one that is friendlier to the Eagles’ cap space on an annual basis but also provides Foles financial security.

The one caveat to this is that Foles’ father, Larry, recently sold his restaurant chain for over $50 million, so while he certainly wants to make his own living, financial security is not a huge issue for him and his family.

3. Kaepernick Template Encourages Team-Friendly Restrictions

A deeper look at the deal Kaepernick signed with San Francisco lets one see how good of a deal San Francisco is getting with Kaepernick. They are getting every team’s dream: annual protection against a major injury, annual protection against a complete drop in production, and lots of incentives that depend on Kaepernick’s in-season performance.

This could start a trend towards big-money deals with team-friendly incentives and “outs,” which would be exactly what the Eagles want with Foles. They will be able to meet some of his salary demands without guaranteeing too much up front in case something, God forbid, catastrophic happens.

 

Overall, the Eagles are in an excellent position when it comes to negotiating with their Pro Bowl QB. With financial leverage, time, and precedent now on their side, it is safe to say that Eagles fans do not have to worry about a Ruben Amaro-esque contract screw-up by Roseman and Co.

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Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Eagles, Editorial

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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