The Eagles have exercised their fifth-year option on defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, sources tell Albert Breer of the NFL Network (Twitter link). Will Brinson of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) first reported the decision, which has since been confirmed by the team (Twitter link).
Although Breer identifies Cox as a defensive tackle, the assumption is that he’ll receive a defensive end salary for 2016, since he plays end in the Eagles’ 3-4 system. So while a defensive tackle like Michael Brockers will be in line for a $6.146MM option-year salary, Cox will earn $7.799MM in his fifth year.
Cox’s 2016 salary is initially only guaranteed for injury, but it will become fully guaranteed on the first day of the ’16 league year, and I suspect the Eagles won’t have a problem with that. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the 24-year-old was the fifth-best 3-4 DE in the NFL last season, behind standout players like J.J. Watt, Sheldon Richardson, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Calais Campbell. Cox graded well above average as both a run defender and a pass rusher.