Upon Further Review, Nick Foles Is Not the Eagles Quarterback of the Future

He's lost the right to the starting job. Now it's Mark Sanchez's turn.

Mark Sanchez: Franchise savior? | Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj - USA Today

Mark Sanchez: Franchise savior? | Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj – USA Today

Two weeks ago in this space I wrote what I thought was a very lucid and realistic portrayal of the Eagles quarterback situation. Nick Foles, I wrote, had to be the once and future quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles because they had no other choice.

What I failed to add was that circumstances can throw lucidity and realism into a pile of horse manure.

In football, more so than any other professional sport, an injury can change the fate of not only a season, but of an entire organization. And with Foles getting hurt last week in the Eagles win at the Houston Texans, the franchise now may belong to Mark Sanchez, with Foles limping out of town like the failed sheriff in a western.

So here’s what I now think can happen with the Philadelphia Eagles going forward: Sanchez is the custodian the rest of the season, gets them a division championship and a playoff win, the Eagles then sign him to a two-year deal at the end of the season while they draft a quarterback in the first round this coming year and groom that guy to take over in that two-year Sanchez period. As for Foles, I think he has played his last game as an Eagle.

Harsh I know. But it’s happened before and it’s happened to better quarterbacks than Nick Foles.

Drew Bledsoe was an established NFL star when he got injured and some kid named Tom Brady came in and stole his job. I don’t think that hurt the New England Patriots even a little bit. This circumstance has even happened in Philadelphia. Twice. And very recently. First, Kevin Kolb got banged up and lost his job to a resurgent Michael Vick. Then Vick got hurt and lost his job to Foles. And now what comes around is going around.

I’m not a fan of Mark Sanchez. I think he’s a quarterback with a mediocre skill set and I don’t believe New York Jets sycophants at all when they blame everybody else in the Jets’ organization except Sanchez for why Sanchez failed in New York. He has thrown one more interception than touchdown pass in his NFL career, even as he did win a couple of playoff games. He’s the type of quarterback who will make a brilliant play one series, and then give it back with a buffoon- like interception throw.

But it’s not like he’s replacing Joe Montana here. Foles has regressed to the point where he no longer has an identity. Can you really convince yourself that the incumbent deserves his job back when his cracked collarbone heals? And to that end, if Sanchez plays the rest of the season – and I can’t imagine the Eagles doing anything worse than finishing with a 5-3 record the rest of the year, which would likely mean 11 wins and a division championship – can you really go back to Foles next season as your starter?

It’s time to stop fiddle-faddling with this quarterback position. You give the job back to Foles next season and again you’re crossing your fingers that Nick Foles can be a franchise quarterback. And if he isn’t, if he shows the same uncertain command that he’s shown this year, what then? By then, Sanchez has signed with another team and you’re one more year behind in your search for a franchise quarterback.

Go to bed tonight and hope for the following: Mark Sanchez is good enough to keep the Eagles from sliding down the mountain they’ve climbed up halfway, then signs in the off-season to be a two year custodian as the starting QB while you ready the guy you draft. That could be Jameis Winston or Bryce Petty or Brett Hundley, three big, mobile quarterbacks who would fit this offense better than the guys you have now.

Let it be so.

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