In a cost-cutting move, the Eagles have, at least for now, parted ways with a mainstay of their defense. The team has released defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).
He adds that Cox is being designated as a post-June 1st cut. The reason for the release’s timing is due to the fact that at 4:00 PM EST, $18MM of the compensation he was owed – nearly the entire amount – would have become fully guaranteed. Cutting him in this way creates over $12.8MM in dead money, while opening $2.1MM in cap space.
Garafolo does note, however, that a return to Philadelphia is still possible, something corroborated by ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Both Cox’s representatives and the team are in communication to work out a new contract. Cox originally had one more season on his deal, along with two void years.
Cox, a first rounder in 2012, has spent his entire career with the Eagles. Included in his tenure there is a stretch of six consecutive Pro Bowls from 2015 to 2020. He also earned First Team All-Pro honors in 2018. The 2021 season was essentially on par with his career averages, as he totalled 35 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
However, he generated trade buzz both around this season’s trade deadline and during the offseason. A swap would’ve been complicated by his sizeable contract. As a free agent now, though, he should be more affordable to interested teams.