LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy understands Nick Foles’ trade value better than anybody.
One year after Nagy helped spearhead the Bears’ acquisition of Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars, the veteran quarterback’s name is being bandied about again as a potential trade target in light of Thursday’s foot injury to Colts starter Carson Wentz.
Nagy, who coached Foles – currently the Bears’ third-string quarterback – in both Kansas City and Chicago, said such speculation comes with the territory given Foles’ impressive career accomplishments.
“[I] absolutely [understand why teams would be interested in Foles],” Nagy said before Saturday’s practice. “And you’re talking about a Super Bowl MVP and a guy that’s started a lot of games. He’s had a really interesting career in so many ways that I just think that he deserves that. I mean, anybody that’s had the career he has is somebody that’s always going to be – for all teams, as a third string guy – teams are going to look at guys like him.”
Nagy added that he and Foles have not discussed any of the trade rumors since the team reported to training camp at the beginning of the week.
“I don’t talk to him about that, he doesn’t talk to me about it,” Nagy said. “We just don’t go there because, again, that’s out of our control. He’s worrying about doing everything he can to just be great for us and that’s what I like about our relationship. He’s happy with where he’s at here and he’s in a good place.”
Foles, 32, appeared in nine games for the Bears last season and passed for 1,852 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The MVP of Super Bowl LII, Foles has played for five different NFL teams, including two separate stints in Philadelphia. Foles has 55 career regular season starts and six in the postseason.
Foles current contract – one that he reworked prior to joining the Bears last year – carries an approximate $6.6 million salary cap charge in 2021.
“I would say probably 95 percent of people in Nick’s situation would handle it completely opposite of the way he’s handled it, from the time that I brought him in and told him that he was going be the third-string quarterback,” Nagy said. “And I have to give so much credit to him because he accepted it. He understood it. Was he happy about it? No. But he understood it. Nothing else from the time we got to OTAs until now, we all talked about how impressed we are with how he’s handled himself in that role.
“I mean, every rep he gets – which isn’t a lot – but every rep he gets, he acts like he’s the first-string quarterback. He comes in in the morning and gets his workouts in super early. He stays after practice and gets conditioning in. He told me that right now, he’s in the best shape physically and mentally that he’s been in his career. Honestly, that was shocking to me, because you never know where a guy’s going to come into the summer or after the summer, and he’s done everything in his power. It’s been really neat and he’s been great for Justin and Andy.”