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May 09, 2023

What they're saying: What's next for Nick Foles?

Also, what should we expect from Eagles top draft pick Jalen Carter in training camp and this season?

Things are relatively quiet in the NFL world right now. 

The Eagles' rookies arrived at the NovaCare Complex last week to start getting up to speed with minicamp, while the team as a whole – and all 31 others – are biding time until the schedule is revealed in full Thursday night, with rumors and leaks already abound of a Super Bowl rematch, and games on Black Friday and Christmas. 

Still, there are a few loose news and notes of interest to Eagles fans, so let's do a quick run through them. 

Here's what they're saying about the Birds:

What's next for Nick?

Kerith Gabriel | The Philadelphia Inquirer

Nick Foles has enjoyed one of the strangest, most improbable careers in NFL history, but after he was released by the Colts late last week, where that career goes next is unclear. 

He's 34, has floated around the league as a backup/third-stringer for the past several years, and outside of Philadelphia, he's told of people he's met who weren't even aware that he was a Super Bowl MVP much less an NFL player. 

And for Foles, that's all OK. Whatever happens next, be it another job in the NFL, retirement, or something else, he knows he's going to be OK. 

From The Inquirer's Kerith Gabriel, who documented a visit from Foles to Mariners Church in Irvine, California over the weekend:

“I was just released yesterday by the Colts, which is actually a good thing, so don’t cry for me. It’s OK,” Foles said. “The coach that I was there for, [former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich], was fired. Their GM and I had a good relationship. It’s all good. Everything’s fine.”

So what does that mean for Foles? He did hint at retirement, but it wouldn’t be the first time Foles considered calling his NFL career quits.

“Shoot, almost every year of my career I’ve almost retired,” Foles said. “Every offseason, I think, ‘Do I still want to play? Do I still want to keep going?’ Specifically this last year with everything, God’s really been testing my identity in the game because I was able to get rid of it many years ago, and it was just all about Christ. But [with the] Super Bowl and different experiences, it starts creeping back in. That’s sort of what you’re recognized for. But then people get to know me, and they’re like, ‘He’s just a goofball. He’s just like any one of us.’ I mean, maybe I played in the NFL, but definitely, I’m just a man. I’m just a human. I have the same faults.” [The Inquirer]

The best place to be

Marc Ross |

Rookie pass rusher Jalen Carter has undeniable talent but concerns over his character and work ethic hurt his stock in the draft, and inevitably led to the Eagles fielding questions about those concerns when they finally picked him up at ninth overall. 

But there's a belief that veterans like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham can't help keep him accountable, as well as the rest of the Eagles' locker room and the organizational culture as a whole. 

It's a good place to be, and has Carter in one of the best positions to succeed because of it. 

Wrote analyst Marc Ross, who ranked Carter in Philly as the third-best in the NFL for an incoming rookie:

Carter joins Georgia North, a perfect landing spot for a prospect whose character concerns clouded his pre-draft process. Carter is an elite talent who has the opportunity to continue developing around a bunch of familiar faces. Also, playing alongside -- and most importantly, learning from -- highly respected veterans like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham is a godsend for the 22-year-old. The immense talent across Philadelphia's roster will allow Carter to adjust to the NFL at his own pace in a great environment. []

So long as you put the work in

Reuben Frank | NBC Sports Philadelphia

But of course, Carter has to put the work in himself. He wasn't in great shape for his pro day and that hurt him during the draft process, along with being a negative that will stick to him for quite a bit. 

But over these next few months, he has time and all the tools available to shed that, as NBC Sports Philly's Reuben Frank noted during rookie minicamp

You don’t draft a guy No. 9 overall to be a part-time player. You don’t draft a guy No. 9 overall to be a situational player or role player. You draft him to be a star, and Jalen Carter has to be in great shape to be a star. I understand being alarmed at how out of shape he was at his pro day and by Nick Sirianni’s admission – which I don’t entirely believe – that practice was “cut down” because none of the rookies were in good enough shape to get through a full rookie practice. What’s important isn’t Carter’s fitness level on May 5, it’s his fitness level on Sept. 10. The Eagles don’t play a game for four months, and one thing we’ve learned over the last three years is that their player performance staff – led by Ted Rath – is the best in the NFL. They will get you healthy. They will get you in shape. They will prepare you to play football at your maximum capability and then they will keep you there. Now, Carter has to put in the work. He has to want to put in the work. But he’s got every tool at his disposal to arrive at opening day as the one-man wrecking crew the Eagles envision. [NBCSP]

And you're ready to go

Bo Wulf | The Athletic ($)

The Eagles will need Carter to be ready by the time training camp arrives this summer. 

With Javon Hargrave, Linval Joseph, and Ndamukong Suh all gone, the team has a significant chunk of interior defensive line snaps to account for, and Carter's talent, if fully realized, can fill in for them all and then some.

Wrote The Athletic's Bo Wulf, who highlighted Carter as the Eagles rookie most likely to make the biggest immediate impact:

Jalen Carter figures to be counted on to help replace the defensive tackle production left behind by Javon Hargrave. The Eagles traded up one spot to select one of the best talents in the draft not only because he can be a pillar player along the defensive line moving forward, but because he’s a perfect fit for a priority short-term need. Even with Fletcher Cox, Milton Williams and Jordan Davis returning, the Eagles have 40.6 percent of their defensive tackle snaps to replace with Hargrave, Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh gone. Given Carter’s talent, it would be a significant disappointment if he isn’t heavily involved early. [The Athletic, $]

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