Jacksonville, FL — The Jacksonville Jaguars officially have their new quarterback.
“It’s really a special moment in my career and in my life to have a franchise like this believe in me and make me their franchise quarterback,” says Nick Foles.
The team signed Foles on Thursday, in a reported four-year, $88 million package. Foles is an eight-year quarterback, who was most recently with the Philadelphia Eagles, but was signed as an unrestricted free agent.
“What we truly believe is this quarterback, this young man gives us the best chance to win,” says Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin.
Foles says Philly will always hold a special place in his heart, but he is excited about what Jacksonville and the Jaguars have to offer. He says at the end of last season, he and his wife decided to buy back his right to free agency, because they wanted to be free to determine where they would go. From early on, he knew Jacksonville could be a good fit, and he wanted the opportunity to lead a team.
“This is where I want to finish my career and, you know, this is ultimately- like I said- where we’re going to put down roots,” he says.
Foles says he knows how important it is that everyone on this team have trust in each other, which is why he takes a transparent approach on and off the field, so that his teammates and others know he’s the same guy regardless of the setting.
“The things that I’m most excited about, honestly, is just getting to know my teammates. Being in the locker room, getting to know their personalities, that’s why I play this game. To step in the huddle and play with the guys I love, my brothers.
After everything he has gone through in his career to bring him to this point, Foles says he thought it was important to use this opportunity to reconnect with his roots, including going back to his childhood and high school number 7.
“It’s really just going back to who I am,” he says.
Coughlin says their decision was clear- put the team in the best position to win. He says Foles has a reputation for professionalism, humility, and overcoming adversity, which will move the Jags in the right direction.
“While this is certainly Nick’s day, make no mistake today, this is a team building day. Adding Nick to our roster has made our team better. Everything we do going forward will be with the intent of improving our team and preparing for the 2019 season,” Coughlin says.
Jags General Manager Dave Caldwell says once it was confirmed that Foles would become a free agent, the Jags’ leadership unanimously supported bringing him in. Head Coach Doug Marrone believes Foles has the right things for the team to build around and upon.
“I think that’s what you’re looking for, a coach is looking for in all players, you know- that consistency that you can get week in and week out,” Marrone says.
The 30-year-old quarterback has started 44 of the 54 games he’s appeared in through the past seven years. In addition to the Eagles, he has played with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.
Last season, he helped bring the Eagles to the post-season, with three straight wins to close out the regular season. He also ran the end of the season and post-season in 2017, with a streak that not only brought the Eagles a Super Bowl, but led to Foles being named the MVP.
On Wednesday, the Jags officially released quarterback Blake Bortles, who was their first-round draft pick in 2014.