Jacksonville Jaguars sign QB Nick Foles and cut Blake Bortles
Last Updated: 14/03/19 10:10am
The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to terms with free agent quarterback Nick Foles on a four-year, $88m contract and cut former start Blake Bortles.
NFL Network reports incentives can push the maximum value of the deal to $102m, while $50.125m of Foles' contract is guaranteed.
Bortles, the No 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, was released less than two hours after the announcement of Foles' signing.
"We're really, really thrilled that Nick wanted to be a Jaguar," offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who worked with Foles in Philadelphia, told the team's website.
"Obviously, Nick's a great leader. First off, he's a great person, and whenever you're a person of high character that obviously gains respect of not only the building but teammates as well.
"He's going to bring a steadiness to our team. This is hopefully just the start for helping us get our team better. There's no quarterback that can do it by himself in this league. This is just the beginning of accomplishing what we're trying to accomplish."
Over the last few weeks, all signs pointed to the Jaguars signing Foles, who was allowed to enter free agency by the Philadelphia Eagles after guiding the team to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
Foles took over for Carson Wentz down the stretch again in 2018, when a back injury ended Wentz's season, and pushed Philadelphia into a divisional playoff matchup at New Orleans.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman announced at the NFL Scouting Combine that Foles "deserves to lead a team."
"We had conversations at the end of the season, and he knew where I stood and how I felt about him," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said.
"Obviously, he's a big part of our success the past two years. It's an opportunity now for him to become a starter, and I'm excited for him to do that."
Wentz was out during the Super Bowl run recovering from reconstructive knee surgery and last season missed the final month of the regular season, and two playoff games, with a fracture in his back. Wentz is expected to make a full recovery and return as the starter in 2019.
Financially, it would have been a major challenge for Roseman had the Eagles opted to franchise and trade Foles.
Because of the value of the one-year tender, the Eagles first must have displayed to the league the salary-cap space to use the tag.
In Foles' case, more than $21m was required to be shed in the form of restructured contracts or releasing players with hefty cap hits.
The Jaguars gave Bortles a three-year, $54m contract last year, but he went 3-9 as a starter and was benched for Cody Kessler.
His release will save Jacksonville just $4.5m against the cap, while leaving $16.5m in dead money, unless Bortles is designated as a June 1 release. That would create an additional $5m savings in 2019 by sending $5m in dead money to 2020.
Foles, 30, has 68 touchdowns and 33 interceptions in 54 career games.