By Paul Wanecski
Speculation season is in full swing, as rumors are flying around about the landing spots for free agents have swarmed social media. While Nick Foles will assumingly be a backup plan for teams that missed out on the big players at the quarterback position during the start of free agency, he will remain a coveted piece for teams looking to draft a quarterback in April. The reasons he will be targeted is surprisingly not a small list.
As a starter for the Eagles, including playoff games, Foles has a career record of 19 wins and 11 losses. While that number might not impress you, remove his rookie season and things look a lot different; since 2013, Foles record as a starter for the Eagles is 18 wins, 6 losses. He is on the books in Philadelphia for $7.2 million dollars in 2018. While that number isn’t very high, the team can save about $2.2 million in trading him, money that is needed since the team is projected to be around $9 million over the cap next year including signing their draft picks. As a rule of thumb, if you can get something for your backup quarterback in the NFL, you take it.
So how does this translate for the Buffalo Bills? Even with Eric Wood’s recently announcement that he will be unable to play football and the salary cap implications that carries, the Bills could still actually SAVE money by trading for Foles. Here is how this works:
- Release Tyrod Taylor prior to his roster bonus. This move saves the team $9.44 million is salary cap space
- Trade a third round pick for Nick Foles. This saves the Eagles money on the cap and fills the need for a veteran starter at a cheaper price tag, as he would make $7 million this season under the Bills. His contract is written to void after the 2018 season.
- Draft a quarterback. This is the whole idea, right?
Even with the release of Taylor, acquiring Foles and still drafting a first round quarterback, the Bills save money on the salary cap. The only way they would use more than the money saved by releasing Taylor is if they end up acquiring anything above the 15th pick (and honestly, who would complain about that?). If they were to acquire the first overall selection, the team would end up spending an additional $3.52 million above the money they save from releasing Taylor. This move, financially, makes too much sense not to consider, regardless of the quality of quarterback you think Foles is. If the Bills are really considering Foles, it would be in the team’s best interest to strike before another team gets desperate and overpays once the big fish in free agency have been caught. The trading of Alex Smith this week could really be an indication that the trade market is going to be steaming with activity.