On Monday night, the Eagles announced that they got a multi-year deal done with standout defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. The Eagles are thrilled to have Cox locked up for years to come but, of course, it cost the team a pretty penny. Not only is Cox getting a six-year, $103MM deal – he’s coming away with $36.299MM fully guaranteed and he’s unlikely to see any less than $55.549MM in total.
How did the Eagles do here? And what does Cox’s deal mean for other notable defensive linemen around the league? Here are some of the reactions to Cox’s payday:
- Kawann Short is surely hoping for Cox money, but the “sense inside the building” is that Panthers GM Dave Gettleman “won’t go much further than $15MM per season,” Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review writes. Short, who recorded 11 sacks in 2015, is currently scheduled to count for just $1.473MM against the 2016 cap.
- Cox did tremendously well when it comes to the guarantee and bonus structure, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. The Eagles paid a hefty price to extend the defensive tackle and Fitzgerald says the Eagles would have been better off extending him a year ago when the price tag wouldn’t have been as high. Meanwhile, in terms of year-by-year cash, he doesn’t see this deal moving the market for Broncos star Von Miller.
- Mike Florio of PFT believes that Cox’s contract with help Miller in his case with the Broncos. The Broncos were previously able to chalk up deals for Ndamukong Suh and Olivier Vernon to free agency inflation. However, Cox has shown that a defensive lineman can score a similar contract without hitting the open market.
- Interestingly, a 2017 franchise tag for Cox would’ve been unusually favorable for the Eagles because he switched from defensive end to defensive tackle, Joel Corry of CBSSports.com notes (via Twitter). Defensive ends earn more on the tag and the defensive tackle number is expected to decline.
- Muhammad Wilkerson will get long-term deal like Cox, but it won’t be from the Jets, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com writes. The door seemed pretty much closed on a monster deal for Wilkerson in New York, but that door has now been slammed shut now that Cox pushed the defensive line market even further. Cimini is personally perplexed as to why the Jets won’t pay the price to keep Wilkerson for the long term.
- Cox’s deal either confirms to Von Miller‘s camp that their position is right or raises the price for a deal – or perhaps both, Corry tweets.
- Cox showing up and beginning to bond with his Eagles coaches at minicamp was important for this deal getting done, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
- Given the rapidly rising cost of defensive linemen, Fitzgerald (on Twitter) believes that the Patriots made the correct decision moving on from Chandler Jones. Jones, who is slated to hit the open market after the 2016 season, netted the Pats offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick in a trade with the Cardinals.
- The Eagles have proven that they’re serious about spending money, Darin Gantt of PFT writes. Philly has now doled out more than $280MM in guaranteed money this offseason, nearly double of any other team.