No one can fault Foles for the decision to take the money and a starting job as he leaves the Philadelphia Eagles. One peculiar decision he did make, though, was to change his number. The reason? It has something to do with the city in which he won a Super Bowl.
Nick Foles career accomplishments
Nick Foles has had something of a journeyman’s career before heading to Jacksonville. He was drafted by the Eagles out of the University of Arizona in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
After several seasons in Philly, Foles was traded to the Rams for Sam Bradford. He lost the starting job there, then served as the backup in Kansas City for a season before returning to Philadelphia. On the Eagles, Nick Foles was supposed to serve as Carson Wentz’s backup.
His career numbers aren’t particularly impressive, but consider that he has been a backup for several seasons:
- Win-loss: 26-18
- 61.6% completion percentage
- 11,165 yards passing
- 68 touchdowns
- Quarterback rating of 88.5
Foles’ best regular season was 2013 when he started 10 games for the Eagles. He threw 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He led the league with a quarterback rating of 119.2.
It would be Foles’ second stint in Philadelphia, however, where he’d have the biggest impact.
The last two seasons in Philadelphia
A look at the numbers may not do Foles’ 2017-2018 run in Philadelphia justice. There was no question entering each season who the Eagles’ starter was: Carson Wentz. When Wentz went down with an injury late in the 2017 season, Foles was inserted into the lineup while Eagles fans prepared themselves for another postseason disappointment.
They wouldn’t get it though, as Foles would lead the team to a miraculous postseason run culminating in a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. It would be the franchise’s first.
The next season, Foles returned to the Eagles as the backup as he was under contract. The team had another promising regular season, but Wentz again got hurt. There would be no championship miracle this time, but Foles was able to lead the team to a playoff victory over the Chicago Bears in the wild card round.
Foles may not have had a lot of regular-season success in Philadelphia, but his postseason success makes him a legend in the city. And it has something to do with why he’s changing his number.
The cool reason Nick Foles is changing his jersey number
Foles wore the number nine in Philadelphia. He’ll wear seven in Jacksonville. Many football players are superstitious about their number, so a player changing numbers when they don’t have to is pretty rare. Foles’ reasoning speaks to his affection for the city he won a championship in.
NBC Sports Philadelphia reporter Derrick Gunn ran into Foles and asked him why he switched numbers. Here’s what he tweeted regarding Foles’ response:
“Just spent some quality minutes with Nick Foles… One of the things I asked him was why he’s now wearing number 7 instead of 9 his response: “number 9 stays in Philadelphia. That number means a lot to me. It pertains to that city.””
NFL football is a business, which is why players change teams every season. No Philadelphia fan begrudged Foles leaving for a ridiculously large contract and the ability to headline his own team in Jacksonville.
But it is rare – and definitely cool – to see a player show loyalty to a franchise he left. Foles clearly appreciates the city, organization and fan base in Philadelphia, and despite leaving them, this is how he shows that appreciation. It’s a unique gesture that the fans are sure to appreciate.
One thing’s for sure – the next time the Jaguars play in Philadelphia, Foles will get a standing ovation if he’s still with the team.