Fallout From Fletcher Cox’s Extension

Earlier today, PFR ran down some of the initial reactions to the mammoth six-year contract extension defensive lineman Fletcher Cox signed with the Eagles on Monday. Plenty more responses have come in since, so let’s dive in…

  • The Cox deal is yet another Eagles-inflicted blow to the Broncos, details Mike Klis of 9News. The Eagles hurt the Broncos’ chances to re-sign quarterback Brock Osweiler earlier this offseason when they inked Sam Bradford to a $17.5MM-per-year extension. Now Cox’s contract isn’t doing Denver any favors in its attempt to lock up star pass-rushing linebacker Von Miller, the Super Bowl 50 MVP who has amassed 60 sacks in 72 career regular-season games. The Broncos have until July 15 to sign Miller to a long-term deal. Otherwise, best-case scenario for the club: Miller will play out 2016 under the exclusive franchise tag. There have been rumblings that Miller could sit out the season if the reigning champions don’t meet his long-term demands, however. To this point, the Broncos haven’t been willing to give Miller a non-injury-guaranteed total approaching $60MM for the first three years of the six-year, $114.5MM extension they’ve offered him. The Broncos have instead offered to guarantee nearly $40MM over the first two years, and non-injury guarantees for the third year wouldn’t actually kick in until then. Cox, meanwhile, got $55.2MM in new money in the opening three years of his deal.
  • Denver isn’t the only team that the Cox contract could negatively affect, says Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). The Panthers and Jets have standout defensive linemen Kawann Short and Muhammad Wilkerson, respectively, entering contract years, and now their price tags stand to rise even higher. The Panthers aren’t bullish enough on Short to give him Cox-type money, which will make negotiations difficult, according to Cole. The Jets hold similar feelings toward Wilkerson, so the expectation is that he doesn’t have much of a future with the team. Wilkerson is currently scheduled to play this season under the non-exclusive franchise tag, though he hasn’t signed the tender yet and isn’t a lock to report to training camp.
  • Having second overall pick Carson Wentz in the fold as the prospective long-term solution under center is a luxury that enabled the Eagles to allocate bank-breaking money to Cox, opines Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Cox’s extension will kick in come 2017, which is when Wentz is expected to take over for Bradford under center. Wentz’s cap numbers from 2017-19 ($6.06MM, $7.26MM and $8.49MM) are palatable figures for a starting QB. Of course, Wentz will actually have to prove himself capable in the pros for Philly to take advantage of this situation, as the Seahawks and Colts have done in recent years with Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck, respectively.
  • After former head coach Chip Kelly pushed him out of the picture last season, executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman has emphatically taken back the throne in Philadelphia, writes Marcus Hayes of the Inquirer. Cox’s extension is just the latest transaction Roseman has made this year to ensure the Eagles have a prosperous future. Along with locking up Cox, Roseman also inked Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Lane Johnson, Vinny Curry, Malcolm Jenkins and Bradford to multiyear deals. In addition to those deals and the aggressive move to land Wentz in the draft, Roseman spent the meat of the offseason getting rid of DeMarco Murray, Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, Riley Cooper and DeMeco Ryans. Roseman has put his stamp on the Eagles and erased Kelly’s influence over the franchise in the process.
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