Ryan Poles made four trades Saturday in the final day of the draft, but the deal the Chicago Bears general manager could not make was finding a taker for veteran quarterback Nick Foles.
That led the team Sunday to release the veteran and former Super Bowl MVP, allowing Foles to become a free agent and search for his next team. NFL Media reported the move Saturday night.
Foles’ contract called for him to receive a fully-guaranteed $4 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the current league year that began in March. He was due to earn a $4 million base salary this season with $1 million of it also fully guaranteed.
The Bears effectively replaced Foles, 33, when they signed veteran Trevor Siemian to be their No. 2 quarterback behind Justin Fields. Foles did not attend the voluntary minicamp earlier this month at Halas Hall.
Poles was asked about Foles’ status earlier Saturday evening but didn’t offer an update.
“We haven’t gotten there yet,” he said. “Obviously, we’ll update you when the next move happens. We’ve kind of phased that into different phases. So now that it’s post-draft, we’ll have some conversations and see where we want to go next with that.”
Former GM Ryan Pace in 2020 traded a fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire Foles, who was deemed a good fit for coach Matt Nagy’s offense with the team uncertain about its future with former first-round pick Mitch Trubisky. The quarterbacks battled for the starting job in training camp with neither performing particularly well.
Trubisky was named the starter but was benched during the Week 3 game at Atlanta. The offense rallied to a 30-26 victory and the job belonged to Foles.
Two weeks later, he helped the Bears to a 20-19 victory over the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But Foles would win only one more game that season, a 23-16 victory at Carolina in Week 6. His record as the starter was 2-5 after a Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, a game he left with a hip injury.
The Bears let Trubisky go, signed veteran Andy Dalton and then traded up for Fields, effectively making Foles the No. 3 quarterback last season. His only action came in a Week 16 start at Seattle, throwing for 250 yards and a touchdown in a 25-24 victory over the Seahawks.
Getting a team to trade for Foles and his contract earlier in the offseason wasn’t something the Bears could accomplish. He exits as another example of a Bears quarterback plan that didn’t pan out.