The Bears acquired quarterback Nick Foles from the Jaguars on Wednesday for a fourth-round draft pick.
Foles, 31, will join his fifth team for his ninth NFL season. An Eagles third-round draft pick in 2012, he has started 48 career games for the Eagles, Rams, Chiefs and Jaguars.
We still need to hear from general manager Ryan Pace about whether Foles will be the new Bears starter or provide competition for Mitch Trubisky. But here are five things we do know about the newcomer.
1. Nick Foles was 4-2 over three postseason runs with the Eagles, including winning Super Bowl LII.
Foles was the Cinderella story of the 2017 season.
After Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL in his left knee in December of that season, Foles stepped in for the next six games to lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl championship. He threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass to help lift the Eagles over the Patriots 41-33 and win Super Bowl MVP.
“A lot of people counted him out, didn’t think he’d get it done,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said after that game. “I believed in him, the staff believed in him, the players believed in him. We needed time. We needed time together to work out some things, and this postseason Nick has shown exactly who he is and what he can do and what he’s capable of doing.”
Foles’ other career playoff win is even more memorable to Bears fans — the double-doink game.
When Wentz was out with a back injury in December 2018, Foles led the Eagles to three straight wins to end the regular season and then a 16-15 playoff victory over the Bears on Jan. 6, 2019, at Soldier Field. Foles completed 25 of 40 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. His 2-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate on fourth down with 56 seconds remaining put the Eagles ahead.
But what most people remember is Bears kicker Cody Parkey missing a 43-yard field-goal attempt off the goal post and crossbar in the final seconds to seal the Eagles’ win.
2. He is coming off a rough one-season stint with the Jaguars.
Foles’ playoff heroics with the Eagles helped convince the Jaguars to give him a four-year, $88 million contract last offseason.
But his run there appeared ill-fated from the start.
Foles broke his left collarbone in the first quarter of his Jaguars debut. When he returned in mid-November, the Jaguars lost their next two games to the Colts and Titans by a combined 42 points. When Foles had three turnovers by halftime in the third game, against the Buccaneers, coach Doug Marrone turned back to rookie Gardner Minshew.
“I just wanted to get a spark,” Marrone said after that game. “These past couple of weeks, we haven’t given ourselves an opportunity to win football games. It’s easy to look at one person, but right now none of us are doing a good enough job.”
Foles didn’t play again in the 2019 season.
3. He has a history with several Bears coaches.
Foles played under Bears coach Matt Nagy with the Eagles and Chiefs, new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor with the Eagles and new quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo with the Eagles and Jaguars.
Before the Bears and Eagles met in the playoffs two seasons ago, Nagy was asked about the summer of 2016, when Foles signed late in training camp to be the Chiefs backup. Foles didn’t bring his car to Missouri with him, so Nagy let Foles use his.
“And he just rode with a coach, and that’s just who he is as a person,” Foles said.
Nagy said Foles returned the car “fairly clean.”
“He put my back rest back too far because he’s like (6-foot-6),” Nagy said. “But he took good care of it.”
More importantly than car care, of course, is how Nagy views Foles on the field.
“He’s a very confident kid in the huddle,” Nagy said before their playoff meeting. “He knows where he’s going with the football. And he’s a playmaker. He’s a big individual that can break tackles. He’s got a strong arm and he’s football smart. So he knows where to go with the football. But he’s just got a lot of great attributes that his players trust.”
The familiarity between Foles and the Bears staff could especially come in handy this offseason, considering NFL team programs are going to be shortened because of the coronavirus crisis.
4. He contemplated retirement before the 2016 season.
One of the worst seasons of Foles’ career was in 2015 with the Rams. He went 4-7 over 11 starts, completing 56.4% of his passes with seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions. After the Rams drafted Jared Goff with the No. 1 pick in 2016, Foles asked for his release that July and contemplated leaving football.
He said in an interview after the Eagles’ Super Bowl win that he lost his love for the game.
“It was a tough six months,” Foles said. “I went through a lot. My wife was there every step of the way. My faith was tested. But I just kept leaning on the Lord. I kept praying.
“I would not be the man, the person I am today without going through that. That just makes me grateful and blessed to be in this moment.”
Foles latched on with Andy Reid, Nagy and the Chiefs in 2016 to be Alex Smith’s backup for a season before he returned to the Eagles.
“Nick is about as good of a human being as you’ll find,” Nagy said. “You want to talk about people that do things the right way, somebody that cares about others, somebody that just wants to play for the love of the game, and he was at a low point then.
“That goes to show the things that Coach Reid does as a head coach. Coach Reid has a history of bringing in people that are maybe at a low point and saving and resurrecting their careers. I love that.”
Foles, who is open in speaking about his faith, wrote a book about his career journey following the Eagles’ Super Bowl win called “Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure and Overcoming the Odds.”
5. He broke Drew Brees’ school records at Westlake High in Austin, Texas.
Foles played high school football a decade behind the Saints quarterback and topped his career passing yards (5,658-5,464) and career touchdown passes (56-50).
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger now holds the high school records.
Brees, however, got something Foles didn’t — a state championship, in 1996.
Foles also had college connections to NFL quarterbacks. He attended Michigan State as a freshman when Kirk Cousins and Brian Hoyer were in the quarterbacks room. He transferred to Arizona for the rest of his college career.