Philadelphia knows about underdogs. There was Rocky, of course, who was an inspiration to the city but, still, purely fictional. There was Vince Papale, a nice walk-on story about going from the grandstands to the NFL field.
On Sunday, Nick Foles outdid them all, leading the Eagles to their first championship since 1960 and
A backup turned Super Bowl starter, Foles at one time put up the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in NFL history, and now he's responsible for giving the city of Philadelphia its first Super Bowl win. With that accolade under his belt, it's hard to imagine Sunday being his last game under center for the Philadelphia Eagles, but that could also be the case.
The Eagles seemed destined for a long-awaited title run when their second-year phenom, Carson Wentz, took the team to nine straight wins and an 11-2 record before injuring his knee. And now here we are, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady dethroned by Foles.
With the veteran backup becoming the first quarterback in Eagles history to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, we're still left with one burning question.
What happens next?
First, it's important to note that Wentz isn't going anywhere. That's absolutely the most sure thing about the situation. Listen, even with Foles actually lighting it up against the Patriots and bringing Philadelphia a title, he's going to be adored by Eagles faithful forever, and rightfully so. His contributions look even better if you factor in his training-camp injury and that he really didn't start fully practicing with the team's starters until Week 15. But if you've already forgotten just how elite Wentz promised to be during his gigantic leap forward in 2017, well, the Eagles probably have not.
If Foles can win a Super Bowl picking up where Wentz left off, in fact, who's to say the Eagles won't be doubly committed to their young signal-caller? Who's to say their confidence won't skyrocket knowing that, with Wentz healthy and returned to form, they might have a legitimate shot at chasing more Super Bowls?
All of that is dependent on Wentz recovering from his torn ACL, but all indications are that he's well on track for an Opening Day return in 2018. And as long as that's the case, there is simply no way that Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie will turn their back on the most dynamic franchise quarterback they've had since Donovan McNabb.
Where does that leave Foles, then?
The backup-turned-postseason hero has already built a storied, if not unusual, career, and it might take another dramatic turn now that he's ended this season with a Super Bowl win. Contract-wise, his Eagles deal is essentially a two-year pact that will, but there could obviously be a few teams knocking at Roseman's door -- or blowing up his phone -- to gauge Foles' trade availability beforehand.
One thing to consider is that, entering 2017, Foles did not land a starting opportunity despite several teams needing passers, but as the NFL often proves, things can change in a hurry, especially if a Super Bowl run is involved. Rebuilding clubs like the Arizona Cardinals make for some potential suitors, and Roseman's reputation for executing trades -- he's made more deals than any other team since first assuming personnel power in 2010 -- certainly increases the likelihood of a move.
Foles is hardly the type of personality to demand a trade or a chance to start, even if his release from the then-St. Louis Rams in 2016 came at his request in the wake of Jared Goff's arrival. The 29-year-old, long noted for his quiet demeanor, not too long ago and talked up 2017 as his chance to really sit back, be a team player and support Wentz. Foles never crowned himself the short- or long-term future at his position, even as he was called upon to fill in for No. 11, always deferring to Wentz as the "guy" for the Eagles organization. It's a good bet, then, that if this year's Super Bowl win leads to another blockbuster Roseman deal, Foles won't necessarily be the guy who forced Philly's hand.
By the same token, if Foles is content in his current role as nothing more than an injury replacement, albeit one with a potentially star-studded resume, maybe the Eagles would be just as content hanging onto him. They were delighted to find him in free agency to take over for Chase Daniel in the offseason, and they surely couldn't have expected more than a Super Bowl appearance, let alone a win against Brady, after turning to him so late in the year. Here lies probably the toughest question for Roseman: Whether or not Foles wins it all, is retaining him as a trusty No. 2 to Wentz more of a risk than selling him at peak trade value? (And here is where it should also be noted that Philadelphia has been quick to praise third-stringer Nate Sudfeld for his development behind Foles.)
The possibilities are endless, and that's true even with Wentz assured his starting gig upon return. In fact, the possibilities were going to be endless even if Foles had not beaten Brady and Belichick, because, let's face it, he already put himself in the NFL's biggest spotlight entering the offseason.
If Foles' career up to this point is any indication, there's quite a few twist and turns still to come.