Today is Nick Foles' day to be a news headliner. Earlier in the day, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that the Eagles are expected to pick up Nick Foles' $20 Million 2019 option. After that news broke, some other dominoes started falling, as ESPN's Adam Schefter is now reporting that the Eagles are expected to tag and trade their back-up QB.
"Before using their franchise tag, the Eagles first are expected to pick up Foles' $20 million option in the next week, per league sources. Foles then has the ability to void the option by paying the Eagles $2 million, which he also would be expected to do, per sources."
This move will be the most beneficial of all the options available to the Eagles, as they will have a couple of reasons why this move will work best for them:
They will control where Foles lands, meaning that QB-needy divisional rivals like the New York Giants or Washington Redskins won't be able to sign him as a free agent.
If the Eagles allowed Nick Foles to walk and become a free agent, they would get a compensatory pick in the 2020 NFL Draft (likely a 3rd-round pick). If they are able to trade Foles this offseason, they would likely receive their draft pick asset(s) for the 2019 NFL Draft. Getting an extra player or two this draft could be huge, as the Eagles are in a win-now mode, and need all the extra help they can get now to push them over the edge before Carson Wentz gets his mega-contract.
Of course this is also an extremely risky move, as they will absolutely need to have a trade in place or else the team would become crippled with no cap space, and would need to cut some key players in order to get under the cap. If they don't have a trade partner, the Eagles will be paying Nick Foles ~$23 Million to back-up Carson Wentz, and would also lose a few key players, making a playoff run less likely in 2019.
Howie Roseman has proven himself enough for us to trust his decision-making, so fans shouldn't fret when news eventually comes out that Nick Foles is franchise-tagged. Foles will likely be traded to a QB-needy team this offseason, and Roseman's plan will fall into place.