Rumors of Nick Foles behind center for the New York Giants were greatly exaggerated.
The (NY) Daily News’ Pat Leonard reports Foles and the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to a four-year, $88 million deal Monday. Foles will make $50.125 million when the deal becomes official when the new league year begins at 4:00 PM EDT Wednesday.
The Giants were reportedly interested in Foles, the MVP of Super Bowl LII. He shined under head coach Pat Shurmur, a former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator. In 2013, Foles completed 64 percent of his passes, throwing 27 touchdowns with only two interceptions in 10 starts.
There was speculation the Giants would add Foles as a bridge between Eli Manning and their next franchise quarterback. Foles’ signing means the end of the Blake Bortles era in Jacksonville. It also confirms Manning will be back for his 16th season with the Giants.
No. 10 comes with a hefty price tag, counting a team-high $23 million against the cap in 2019. This can seem pretty steep for a quarterback who has only won eight games in the past two seasons.
Manning completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes in his first year in Shurmur’s offense. However, he only had six games where he threw for multiple touchdowns and didn’t throw a touchdown in three other games. The Giants offense scored fewer than 20 points in six games. Manning threw 21 touchdowns (ranked 17th overall) despite starting all 16 games.
The Giants made a concerted effort to address their offensive line issues last offseason with the signing of Nate Solder and drafting of Will Hernandez. They also cut ties with underachievers like Ereck Flowers and Patrick Omameh.
Although the results were mixed, the line’s play did improve as the season wore on.
Manning, who turned 38 on Jan. 3, was sacked 30 times in the Giants’ first eight games. He was only sacked 17 times in the second half of the season. At times, when the offensive line provided him with a clean pocket, Manning showed he can still perform at an elite level. After a 1-7 start, the Giants won four of their final eight games.
Unfortunately, Manning only threw 13 touchdowns in the second half of the season and the Giants finished 2018 with three consecutive losses.
The Giants have the offensive talent to compete for a playoff spot in 2019. However, there are holes at the right guard, right tackle, cornerback, free safety, and edge rusher spots. The Giants need to address each of those needs before they will be able to think of seriously competing for the franchise’s fifth Lombardi Trophy.
If the Giants had signed Foles, it would have allowed them to focus squarely on selecting the best player available in next month’s NFL Draft. This year’s draft is loaded with offensive line and pass rushing talent and Foles would have provided insurance against a team with quarterback needs jumping over the Giants to select Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, the best prospect in a mediocre field.
Manning did receive a vote of confidence during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Shurmur acknowledged Manning “…proved—when the players (around him) started playing better—that he can play at a very high level. This doesn’t mean that the team won’t draft a quarterback or sign one in free agency.