By Nick Shook
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The Super Bowl is over. The silly season is upon us.
Why not kick it off with questions about a potential quarterback controversy in Philadelphia?
Nick Foles won Super Bowl LII Most Valuable Player on Sunday night after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. He did so in place of starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who saw his league MVP-caliber season cut short by a torn ACL suffered in Week 14.
Talk about coming up in the clutch.
Is Foles, who stunned the football world in Philadelphia’s final two games of the postseason with his unexpected, phenomenal play, looming as a threat to the throne of the young Wentz?
In a word, no. But let’s allow Eagles coach Doug Pederson to explain.
“I had a chance to talk to Carson [Wentz] actually on the field, on the podium last night after the game. I told him to take this in, enjoy this moment,” Pederson said on Monday morning. “He’s a great quarterback and he’s a big reason — I told him you’re a big, big part of why this team won this championship, won this game. I told him that hopefully we’ll be back in this game with him leading the way.”
Philadelphia is certainly a favorite to return to the Super Bowl next season with Wentz leading the way. When the Eagles were armed with the second-year star, there was a noticeable divide between the NFC’s contenders — Los Angeles, Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta — and the NFC’s best in Philadelphia. Now that the team has won the Super Bowl without its most-important player, it’s only logical to think they’ll be even better equipped to make another run at a title.
“I knew I couldn’t get off this stage without that question,” Pederson said when asked if Wentz would still be Philadelphia’s starter in 2018. “You know what? I’m going to tell you right now, we’re going to enjoy it, we’re going to get on this plane, go back to Philadelphia, we’re going to celebrate with our fans back in Philly. We’ve got a long offseason — well, really a short offseason now. We’re just going to enjoy this moment. I’m happy for Nick, I’m happy for the team. It’s not about one guy, it’s about the team. Like I said, we’re going to enjoy these next few days.”
The Foles situation will become much more interesting. A quarterback who was a backup, then a starter, then a backup again and contemplating giving up the sport has launched himself into the conversation for quarterback-needy teams. He’s under contract for another year, though, meaning he’d have to be acquired via trade — presenting a golden opportunity for Philadelphia to acquire an asset in exchange for an unexpected one.
Or, the Eagles could hang onto Foles, who is reportedly extremely close with Wentz, for the same security they enjoyed this season. But while we’re here, let’s end this story before it gains legs. As long as Wentz is healthy, the Eagles are his team in 2018 and beyond.