The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Wednesday they have acquired free agent quarterback Nick Foles and released Blake Bortles. A news conference is scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. ET, at which time the club will introduce Foles. A video posted to the team's Twitter feed showed a jersey being made with the No. 7 and Foles' name on the back.
While the team did not disclose any contract terms, reports earlier this week put the deal at four years and $88 million, with $50 million guaranteed and incentives that can push the total money beyond the $100 million mark. "We're really, really thrilled that Nick wanted to be a Jaguar," offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who worked with Foles in Philadelphia, told the team's website.
Bortles' release came less than two hours after the announcement of Foles' signing. Over the last few weeks, all signs pointed to the Jaguars signing Foles, who was allowed to enter free agency by the Philadelphia Eagles after guiding the team to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, including a run to the Super Bowl XII championship to cap the 2017 season. Foles, named MVP of that game, then took over for Carson Wentz down the stretch again in 2018 when a back injury ended Wentz's season, and he pushed Philadelphia into a divisional playoff matchup at New Orleans.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman announced at the NFL Scouting Combine that Foles "deserves to lead a team." "We had conversations at the end of the season, and he knew where I stood and how I felt about him," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. "Obviously, he's a big part of our success the past two years. It's an opportunity now for him to become a starter, and I'm excited for him to do that."
Wentz was out during the Super Bowl run recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. Last season, he missed the final month of the regular season, plus two playoff games, with a fracture in his back. Wentz is expected to make a full recovery and return as the starter in 2019. The Jaguars gave Bortles, a first-round pick in 2014 who hasn't developed into a consistent starter, a three-year, $54 contract last year, but he went 3-9 and was benched for Cody Kessler.
Bortles' release will save Jacksonville just $4.5 million against the cap, while leaving $16.5 million in dead money, unless Bortles is designated as a June 1 release. That would create an additional $5 million savings in 2019 by diverting $5 million in dead money to 2020. --Field Level Media
(With inputs from agencies.)