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Following the conclusion of the 2022 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears announced they had released Foles. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin reported the move came after Chicago was unable to find a deal to trade the veteran signal-caller.
Many expected Foles to be on a different team when the 2022 season kicked off.
After the Bears signed Andy Dalton and selected Justin Fields in the first round of the 2021 draft, the 33-year-old had fallen to third in the depth chart. He made just one appearance, going 24-of-35 for 250 yards and one touchdown in a Week 16 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
As the offseason unfolded, Foles’ status remains unchanged. Fields was set to remain the starter in Week 1, and Chicago signed Trevor Siemian to replace Dalton.
Foles caught lightning in a bottle with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2017 season as he filled in for an injured Carson Wentz. He threw for 439 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions in the final three regular-season games.
The Arizona product then earned his place in Philadelphia sports lore when he was named MVP of Super Bowl LII as the Eagles lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time.
Foles got his chance to be a full-time starter again in 2019, when the Jacksonville Jaguars handed him a four-year, $ 88 million contract. However, he suffered a broken left clavicle in his first appearance, and he started only three more games for the Jags.
In all likelihood, the door has closed on Foles becoming more than a backup or an emergency starter. He hasn’t logged double-digit starts in a season since 2015, and he was largely mediocre when the Bears gave him an extended look in 2020. The 2013 Pro Bowler threw for 1,664 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions over a stretch of seven starts.
While it’s unlikely to energize the fanbase, this signing fortifies Indianapolis’ depth at quarterback, and Foles has already shown once that a good backup can be worth his weight in gold.
There’s no question about Matt Ryan’s status as the Week 1 starter. The 37-year-old did not have one of his most prolific seasons in 2021 (3,968, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions), but he might be a big enough upgrade over Carson Wentz to make the team a genuine title contender.
The Colts’ backup situation was a little less solid, with Sam Ehlinger, James Morgan and Jack Coan all in the mix. For a franchise with short-term ambitions, Foles is a much better fit behind Ryan in the depth chart.