Five years ago today, the Eagles locked up Fletcher Cox to a six-year, $103MM deal. The pact, which included $63MM in total guarantees, tied the defensive tackle to Philly through the 2022 season.
Our retrospectives often deal with contracts that didn’t make it all the way to the end. After all, that’s the nature of the NFL, where injuries are common and true long-term security is hard to come by. However, Cox has mostly held up his end of the bargain. At the time of signing, Cox was coming off of his first ever Pro Bowl appearance. Now, he’s up to six straight, including a 2018 All-Pro nod.
The Eagles started talks in the spring, but things stalled into the summer. Cox skipped the Eagles’ voluntary workouts, leaving some to wonder whether a deal would ever come together. Still, Howie Roseman called Cox a “huge part” of the Eagles’ future and he backed that up by making him the second-highest paid defender in NFL history (at the time), just behind Ndamukong Suh and just ahead of Olivier Vernon. The $63MM in guaranteed cash was notable, and $55.5MM of that was effectively guaranteed at signing — $1.5MM more than Aaron Rodgers got on his re-up.
Cox remains a key cog on the Eagles’ defensive line, having notched 6.5 sacks from the interior last year. However, Jeff McLane of The Inquirer hears that the team has some concern about his conditioning. The feeling in Philly is that Cox hasn’t been as dedicated as Rams star Aaron Donald, and there’s concern that it will catch up with him sooner rather than later. If Cox loses a step, the Eagles won’t be inclined to carry his $23.8MM cap hit into 2022. Instead, the Birds could drop him between now and next spring, saving $10.6MM against $13.15MM in dead money.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.