Eagles Redo Fletcher Cox’s Contract, Don’t Plan To Use Funds To Pursue Le’Veon Bell

On the surface, the Eagles making the decision to restructure Fletcher Cox‘s contract just as they lost Jay Ajayi for the season would point to the defending Super Bowl champs freeing up funds for a possible Le’Veon Bell trade.

However, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com are throwing cold water on that prospect (Twitter link). The Eagles made the decision to redo Cox’s deal on Friday, the duo reports. This creates $6.5MM in cap space, pushing Phildelphia into range to afford Bell’s plummeting 2018 price tag.

The Eagles made the decision to restructure Cox’s deal because of their 2019 cap situation, Mortensen and Schefter report, adding the franchise hopes this extra space will help possible re-signings by March. Philadelphia, which has been incredibly active in both retaining its own talent and pursuing outside help, is in its own league regarding 2019 projected cap space. The Eagles are not only the lone team projected to be over the ’19 cap, they are nearly $20MM beyond the ceiling. So, more work will need to be done on this front.

But the Eagles do not plan to pursue Bell, Schefter reports. Prior to the Cox restructure — which will save the Eagles $11.7MM in 2019, per Mortensen and Schefter — the Eagles had barely $4MM in cap space. Now, they’re hovering around $10MM. Bell lost out on $853K in additional 2018 cash by skipping the Steelers’ Week 5 game. That drops his franchise tag amount down close to $10MM.

Philly had been mentioned as not only inquiring about Bell but seriously considering the prospect of pursuing a trade for him. But both Schefter and SI.com’s Albert Breer have not gotten the sense the Eagles are interested. However, the ESPN tandem adds that these added 2018 funds may help get them in the market for another player.

Nevertheless, Philadelphia’s running back situation is now significantly depleted. Ajayi is out for the season, and top backup Corey Clement has not played since Week 3. With Darren Sproles also out, Philly’s top available ball-carrying cogs are Wendell Smallwood and rookie UDFA Josh Adams.

By virtue of this restructure, Cox will make the veteran minimum base salary this season and next, Mortensen and Schefter note. As is the case with many restructures, Cox won’t see less money; it will just be paid out differently. Cox was scheduled to make $11.6MM in 2018 and $15.6MM in ’19. He signed a six-year, $102.6MM extension in the summer of 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “Eagles Redo Fletcher Cox’s Contract, Don’t Plan To Use Funds To Pursue Le’Veon Bell

    • Kenleyfornia74

      Agree its a huge need. They dont have anything to lose with the flair of their Superbowl win. Also have multiple 2nd rounders

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    • Freddy H

      Exactly. Theyre being tactical, saying restructuring his deal has nothing to do with an imminent trade for Bell…

      When the reality is restructuring Cox is in a direct correlation to trading for Bell wk 7 when he shows up and signs his tender…

      Steelers cant trade bell until he signs his franchise tag, so its on his watch.

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    • Freddy H

      So to correct you, Bell is unlikely to be am Eagle “within a week or so” .. But def will be by wk 8 trade deadline.

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  1. wright0525

    Maybe they are gearing up to make a another run at LeGarrette. Lol!! The Lions will give him up without a problem.

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  2. Clark K

    Bell to the Eagles is a cute Madden trade, no way I see it happening. If Bell does get traded Jets have to be most likely and make the most sense it would Take some pressure off of Darnold, they can offer Bell a lot of money in free agency if not the most, and they can basically top any offer the Eagles make because their picks will be more valuable.

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  3. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    So, two separate reporters felt the need to report on their own sense of something that will not happen?

    Or the Eagles asked them to report it to regain leverage in trade talks and reporters do things like this all the time in exchange for info later?

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    • Polish Hammer

      Yeah the team reached out to a rumors website to as the about floating an article …SMH

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  4. madmanTX

    Eagles gonna come crawling on their knees and offer up all their draft picks to the Steelers for Bell.

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    • Polish Hammer

      Yeah hold your breath on that one, a ton of picks for a short term rentals that will take weeks to learn basic parts of the playbook and hasn’t been a “team player”?

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  5. Limited one year rental might really suit the Eagles. If the Steelers can’t get anyone else to bite, getting something for Bell and not having to deal with him in the locker room would offer considerable morale advantages. The situation is fluid – I don’t think anyone knows what will happen.

    For the Steelers, dumping Bell to the NFC is highly desirable. They don’t want him turning up in Pittsburgh very often, especially in early playoff rounds.

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    • Polish Hammer

      They’ll get more when he departs in free agency then what they’ll get in trade. Nobody will give them a 1st or 2nd at this point.

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