JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to mitigate one of the costliest mistakes in franchise history. The Chicago Bears could benefit from the purge.
The Jaguars agreed Wednesday to trade quarterback Nick Foles to the Bears for a compensatory fourth-round draft pick, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade was not yet official.
The Jaguars are dumping Foles a little more than a year after giving the 2018 Super Bowl MVP a four-year, $88 million contract that included a whopping $50.125 million guaranteed.
The Bears are getting a veteran starter to compete with Mitchell Trubisky, who struggled in his third season. They are expected to rework Foles' contract, which has three years remaining.
Foles is due to make $15.125 million in 2020 and would have counted $21.837 million against Jacksonville’s salary cap. Dealing him will still be costly for the Jaguars — they will take on $18.75 million in dead money this fall — but it will free up about $35 million over the next two years. Jacksonville saves a little more than $3 million in 2020 by trading him.
The Jaguars are in full rebuild mode after their 10th losing season in the last 12 years. Last March, owner Shad Khan, general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone raved about Foles and what it meant to finally have a franchise quarterback after a decades-long search that saw Jacksonville try Byron Leftwich, David Garrard, Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne and Blake Bortles.
But the 31-year-old Foles ended up being the latest bust in Jacksonville. He broke his left collarbone early in the season opener, missed the next eight games and then got benched in his third game back.
Rookie Gardner Minshew, a sixth-round draft pick from Washington State, played well enough in Foles’ absence to make Caldwell and Marrone believe he’s got more upside moving forward. It also made Foles expendable.