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Ravens return for Joe Flacco sets bar for Nick Foles deal

Joe Flacco is off the market for teams needing a quarterback as the Denver Broncos agreed to acquire him from the Baltimore Ravens Wednesday. Per Albert Breer of the Monday Morning Quarterback, the Ravens will receive a fourth-round pick for Flacco in the deal (the trade isn’t officially official until March 13, the first day of the new league year).

What does the trade compensation mean for the Eagles and Nick Foles, if they wish to franchise tag and trade him? Remember, the Eagles can franchise tag Foles from February 19 to March 5 and rescind it at any time if Foles doesn’t sign the tag. Foles could file a grievance with the NFLPA if he chooses to, but that’s null and void if he signs the tag.

The Eagles could negotiate a trade with Foles and work out a destination with him. Foles could then sign a new contract with the team he’s traded to, should the Eagles wish to do so.

If the Eagles do decide to trade Foles and receive compensation, Foles may be worth more than a fourth-round pick…especially since the Eagles are looking to get a third-round pick back. Just look at Flacco’s contract and what the Ravens received for him.

Flacco owed $63 million over the final three years of his contract, including a $26.5 million cap hit this year and a $28.2 million cap hit in 2020. Certainly Denver will rework that contract now that Flacco has a new home, but his contract situation is much worse than Foles.

If the Eagles choose to franchise Foles, they will owe him $25 million if the quarterback signs the tender. That’s a shorter cap hit than Flacco, one which a team will be willing to negotiate if they doesn’t want to outbid other teams for Foles on the open market.

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Foles had better numbers than Flacco in 2018 when comparing the two quarterbacks.

The Eagles had a 4-1 record in the five starts Foles made filling in for Carson Wentz this past season. Foles completed 72.3 percent of his passes on the season for 1,425 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions for a 96.2 passer rating.

Foles completed 77 percent of his passes for 971 yards, six touchdowns, three interceptions and a 108.9 rating in the final three games for the Eagles, leading them to a 3-0 record and a return trip to the NFC playoffs.

In the playoffs, Foles finished completing 60.6 percent of his passes for 467 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions for a 70.6 passer rating. Foles has completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 11 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 98.8 passer rating in six postseason starts (4-2 record).

Flacco went 4-5 in his nine starts, completing 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,465 yards, 12 touchdowns, six interceptions and a an 84.2 passer rating. Flacco has never had a regular season where his passer rating was higher than 93.6, even though he played and started all 16 games in nine of his 11 seasons.

Like Foles, the Broncos are banking on Flacco’s postseason success. Flacco has completed 56.6 percent of passes in the postseason for 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 88.6 passer rating, sporting a 10-5 record. Flacco also has a Super Bowl MVP when he threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns in Super Bowl 47.

The Eagles, if they wish to trade Foles, can get higher than a fourth-round pick for the former Super Bowl MVP. That fourth-round pick seems like the lowest the Eagles can go, which may not be worth trading Foles at that price anyway.

If the Eagles can’t get at least a third, there’s no reason to tag him knowing they will get a third-round compensatory pick in 2020. The ball is in the Eagles court.

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