Fletcher Cox

Injury Notes: Clark, Dulcich, Eagles

Frank Clark will be sidelined for a few weeks. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Broncos defensive end will miss “a couple weeks” after suffering a hip injury during yesterday’s practice.

Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like this is a long-term issue, and there’s been no indication that Clark will land on injured reserve. Per Rapoport, the veteran is considered week-to-week.

The former Pro Bowler was cut by the Broncos back in March before eventually landing in Denver. As Troy Renck of Denver7 notes, Clark has struggled to establish a role in Denver, with the 30-year-old serving as a situational pass rusher during the season opener. Clark finished that contest with a pair of tackles while appearing in 25 defensive snaps.

This comes with Baron Browning sitting on PUP, so Clark’s role could be made even more uncertain when his teammate returns. A few weeks off the field probably won’t help his case for a significant role in Denver.

2022 ended Clark’s three-year stretch of earning Pro Bowl nods, but he was still productive with the Chiefs. In 15 games, the pass rusher compiled 39 tackles and five sacks. He showed up during Kansas City’s run to a Super Bowl championship, collecting another seven tackles and 2.5 sacks in three games.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Greg Dulcich is once again dealing with a hamstring injury. After missing seven games for the Broncos during the 2022 season, the tight end will once again miss multiple weeks while dealing with a hamstring injury in the same leg, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The organization intends to take it slow with Dulcich, meaning it could be a bit before he returns to the field. The 2022 third-round pick finished his rookie campaign with 33 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns.
  • A trio of Eagles players were ruled out early for Thursday Night Football. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported yesterday that running back Kenneth Gainwell (ribs), cornerback James Bradberry (concussion), and safety Reed Blankenship (ribs) would all be sidelined for Philly’s Week 2 matchup against the Vikings. The Eagles did get some good news, however, with defensive tackle Fletcher Cox being declared active for tonight’s game after being listed as questionable with a rib injury.
  • Rams wideout Puka Nacua didn’t practice today thanks to an oblique injury, according to Schefter. The rookie fifth-round pick was a standout during his NFL debut, garnering 15 targets from Matthew Stafford. Nacua ultimately finished the contest with 10 catches for 119 yards. With Cooper Kupp sidelined, the Rams may need to dig into their wide receiver depth against the 49ers.
  • Patriots cornerback Jack Jones landed on injured reserve before the season opener, keeping him off the field for at least the first month of the season. Per Albert Breer of TheMMQB, the 2022 fourth-round pick has an injury split in his contract, meaning the organization can lower Jones’ base salary from $870K to $475K as long as he sits on IR. That ends up being a loss of $22K per week for Jones.

Eagles To Re-Sign DT Fletcher Cox

Fletcher Cox is returning to Philly. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the veteran defensive tackle is returning to the Eagles.

Cox is inking a new one-year, $10MM deal with the Eagles. Schefter notes that the player turned down more lucrative offers elsewhere and took a “hometown discount” to stick around Philadelphia.

The 2012 first-round pick has spent his entire career with the Eagles, making six Pro Bowl appearances and earning four All-Pro nods. The Eagles actually released him last offseason to avoid paying him $18MM in guaranteed money, but the veteran ended up quickly re-signing with the team on a one-year deal. He earned $14MM in 2022, so he’ll be taking a slight pay cut for the 2023 campaign.

Cox is two years removed from his last Pro Bowl appearance but is still a productive member of the Eagles defense. He finished last season having started all 17 games, compiling 43 tackles and seven sacks. The 32-year-old got into all three postseason games for Philly, as well, adding another six tackles and one sack. He only finished last season as Pro Football Focus’ 67th interior defender (among 127 qualifiers), the first time he’s finished outside the top-30 at his position since 2013.

Even with the reduced production, the Eagles were surely more than happy to welcome Cox back. The defending NFC Champions have lost a number of defenders during the early stages of free agency, including defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, linebacker T.J. Edwards, safety Marcus Epps, and linebacker Kyzir White.

As Schefter noted in his initial report, Cox turned down more lucrative offers from other suitors. One team that reached out to Cox was the New York Jets, per ESPN’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter).

Eagles Rumors: Dickerson, Berry, Free Agents

In a pileup during the Eagles’ NFC Championship win over the 49ers, guard Landon Dickerson suffered a hyperextension of his right elbow in the fourth quarter and was forced to leave the game. After an MRI of the injury came back negative for any serious damage, it is expected that Dickerson will be able play in the Super Bowl next Sunday, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Dickerson will likely need to wear a brace on the injured elbow through practices and probably in the big game, as well. The Eagles subbed in former first-round pick Andre Dillard when Dickerson was forced to exit last week. Dillard will presumably be prepared once again, in the event that Dickerson aggravates the injury any time before the final whistle of the season.

Here are a few more rumors concerning the NFC’s Super Bowl representatives:

  • Philadelphia is expecting to make an addition to their front office after the season, according to The Athletic’s Zach Berman. Following the 2023 NFL Draft, Adam Berry is expected to be joining the team, working with the personnel and operations departments. Berry, the twin brother of Browns general manager and executive vice president of football operations Andrew Berry, is a managing director at Goldman Sachs who will be making the leap to the NFL. His brother, Andrew, has been with the Browns for six of the past seven years with a one-year stint in Philadelphia as the vice president of football operations. Berry will join his brother’s former franchise and “will be learning all facets of…football operations.”
  • Win or lose, after this weekend the Eagles will have to turn towards next season, where there’s a chance the team will look vastly different than it currently does. Starters such as defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, defensive end Brandon Graham, and center Jason Kelce all are currently destined for free agency in the offseason, and veteran right tackle Lane Johnson could be mulling the decision to hang up his cleats. McLane seemed to imply in his recent report that the likeliest scenario in which these four aren’t Eagles next season would be if they all retire. He seems to believe that, if they all desire to return to Philadelphia, the team will make it happen.

Nine Teams Gain Cap Space From Post-June 1 Cuts

Although early June no longer serves as a stretch in which a wave of veterans are released for cap-saving purposes, June 2 still serves as an important calendar date for certain teams annually. Nine teams qualify as beneficiaries this year.

Eleven players were designated as post-June 1 cuts this year, via CBS Sports’ Joel Corry. Due to a longstanding CBA provision, teams that designate players as post-June 1 releases see the dead-money burden lessened for that year. Teams can designate up to two players as post-June 1 releases each year.

Here are 2022’s post-June 1 cuts, along with the belated cap savings the teams picked up Thursday:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

As detailed in PFR’s glossary, post-June 1 cuts spread dead-money hits over two years. These teams will be taking on dead money this year and next. A few of the 2023 hits are substantial, but the league’s cap-space hierarchy changed significantly Thursday as well.

Because of multiple restructures, Raiders will carry $9.9MM in Littleton dead money next year. The Cowboys will take on $8.7MM in 2023 for cutting Collins, while the Titans will be hit with $8.4MM for their Jones release. Cleveland, which just gave David Njoku a $14.2MM-per-year deal, will carry a $7.5MM dead-money cost next year due to shedding Hooper’s eight-figure-AAV deal early. The Eagles will be tagged with $11.5MM for their Cox cut, with Corry noting that is the net difference because of a $3.2MM salary cap credit regarding Cox’s 2022 bonus proration. Philadelphia re-signed the perennial Pro Bowler on a one-year, $14MM deal.

Hooper’s release pushes Cleveland’s cap space to beyond $40MM; the Browns’ overall cap-space edge is now a whopping $15MM. That should help the team address multiple needs ahead of training camp. Other teams have more options now, too. As of Thursday, the Raiders hold the NFL’s third-most cap space ($22.5MM, per OverTheCap). The $10MM the Cowboys saved moves them up to fourth in cap space ($22.49MM), while the Bears ($22.2MM), Commanders ($18.4MM) and Seahawks ($17MM) now sit fifth, sixth and seventh.

A handful of this year’s post-June 1 cut crop joined Cox in taking advantage of the modern setup, which allows these cap casualties to become free agents immediately — rather than waiting until June to hit the market. In place since the 2006 CBA, this adjustment let veterans loose early while keeping their cap figures on teams’ payrolls through May. Collins quickly joined the Bengals, while Littleton landed with the Panthers, Hooper signed with the Titans, and Phillips returned to the Bills. The remainder of this group remains unsigned. The savings this lot of teams inherited Thursday may help some of these players’ causes in free agency.

Eagles Notes: Cox, Lurie, Kirk

The Eagles released longtime DT Fletcher Cox last month to avoid having $18MM of what he was due under his prior contract becoming fully-guaranteed. The club then re-signed him to a one-year, $14MM contract several days later, which, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is “real” (meaning that Cox will actually earn that money and that the $14MM figure is not inflated by incentives). However, the deal does include two void years to flatten the cap charge, which was especially important since the release already created considerable dead money on the Eagles’ books for the 2022-23 seasons.

Even though Cox is coming off a season in which his play showed noticeable signs of decline and in which he publicly complained about the club’s defensive scheme, his $14MM payout is still $4MM more than what any other free agent interior D-lineman received on a per-year basis this offseason. That has led to plenty of questions about why the Eagles authorized such a contract, but owner Jeffrey Lurie suggested other clubs were willing to pony up for the six-time Pro Bowler, thereby necessitating the financial outlay.

McLane reports that the Eagles did call at least three teams in March to discuss a Cox trade, but just like their in-season trade talks in 2021, the more recent discussions were undermined by Cox’s prior contract and GM Howie Roseman‘s high asking price.

Now for more out of Philadelphia:

  • In the same piece linked above, McLane details the growing role of Lurie’s son, Julian Lurie, within the organization. Now 26, the younger Lurie participated in the NFL’s two-year program for prospective executives upon his graduation from Harvard, he took part in the Eagles’ head coaching interviews in 2021 — ultimately advising his father as the team transitioned from Doug Pederson to Nick Sirianni — and even spearheaded the interviews for the team’s analytics department. Assuming he wants to take up the mantle, it seems that Julian Lurie will someday succeed his 70-year-old father at the top of the franchise.
  • In a piece exploring whether Jeffrey Lurie is too involved in his team’s personnel decisions, which will be of particular interest to Eagles fans, McLane reports that, in 2018, the team was prepared to select one of two receivers in the second round: Ohio State’s Parris Campbell or Stanford’s JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Roseman and then-VP of player personnel Joe Douglas wanted Campbell, but Lurie preferred Arcega-Whiteside, and after Lurie successfully curried Pederson’s support, Roseman and Douglas felt compelled to go along with their wishes. That has led to broader questions about whether Lurie really values Roseman as a GM as much as he says he does, or if he simply likes that he can use Roseman as a “conduit” to the team.
  • The Eagles have not yet acquired a cornerback this offseason, and while Sirianni hyped the unproven contingent of players behind CB1 Darius Slay on the current depth chart — a group that includes Zech McPhearson and Tay Gowan — McLane says the team will almost certainly add a CB or two at some point. The Eagles will hold a “30” visit with top CB prospect Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, and while Gardner may be off the board by the time Philadelphia is on the clock with its No. 15 overall pick, a player like Washington’s Trent McDuffie or LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. could be an option should Roseman decide to select a first-round corner for the first time in his history as a GM.
  • The Eagles have taken some swings at high-profile FA targets this offseason but have mostly come up short (with all due apologies to Haason Reddick and Zach Pascal). In addition to his pursuit of receivers like Allen Robinson and Robert Woods, Roseman also made an offer to former Cardinals wideout Christian Kirk, as McLane writes in a separate article. Kirk, though, received a four-year, $72MM deal from the Jaguars, a move that many have decried as more desperate spending on the part of Jacksonville. Though Kirk would doubtlessly have been an asset to Philadelphia’s WR corps, his $18MM AAV presently looks like an overpay.

Eagles Re-Sign Fletcher Cox

Fletcher Cox is indeed staying in Philadelphia. The defensive tackle has agreed to a new one-year deal with the Eagles, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Eagles, Fletcher Cox Discussing New Deal]

It’s a one-year, $14MM deal, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). Cox was released earlier this week ahead of a deadline to guarantee $18MM of his contract. Instead, the Eagles cut the defensive tackle, creating $2.1MM in cap space while leaving behind $12.8MM in dead cap. At the end of the day, the Eagles reduced the length and amount of Cox’s contract, but they’ll have to endure a brutal one-year hit to the salary cap. Cox originally signed a six-year, $102.6MM extension in 2016, but the deal had been restructured three times in the years prior to his release.

The Eagles have used the large majority of their 2022 cap space on retaining their own players. Dating back to last year’s extensions, the team has committed most of their 2022 cap space to re-sign the likes of Jordan Mailata, Avonte Maddox, Dallas Goedert, Jason Kelce, and Anthony Harris (as Eliot Shorr-Parks points out on Twitter).

Now, we can add Cox to the list, who has earned six Pro Bowl nods in 10 seasons with the Eagles organization. This past season, Cox recorded 3.5 sacks, 12 QB hits, seven tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. Considering the veteran’s uncertain contract status and the Eagles’ brutal start to last season, Cox found himself in trade rumors at one point last year, with the Steelers reportedly discussing the All-Pro D-tackle with the Eagles.

The 31-year-old should continue to play a significant role on the Eagles defense. The team saw Javon Hargrave play well last season, and they used a third-round pick on Milton Williams last year. But Cox coming back will surely help a team that can bolster its lineup with three first-round selections next month.

In addition to their re-signing of Cox, the Eagles also officially announced that running back Boston Scott has re-signed with the organization.

Eagles, Fletcher Cox Discussing New Deal

Rumored to be on the Eagles’ radar despite his release, Fletcher Cox may have a new contract with the team soon. The Eagles are working on a one-year deal with the perennial Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

The six-time Pro Bowler has been the centerpiece of the Eagles’ defense for most of his career, missing just four games over the past nine seasons. The Eagles designated Cox as a post-June 1 cut, moving a small chunk of cash off their books from the elite defensive tackle’s oft-restructured contract.

Cox returning to Philly for an 11th season remains the expectation, Garafolo adds. It will be interesting to see what Cox commands on a one-year deal. He signed a six-year, $102.6MM extension in 2016. The Eagles restructured it three times from 2018-21, inflating the deal’s cap numbers to the point the team cut bait.

Cox, 31, drew trade interest in recent years as well. The Steelers discussed the All-Pro D-tackle with the Eagles during the 2021 season. But the dominant inside defender remained in Philly, helping the Eagles rebound after a significant step back in 2020. Cox recorded 3.5 sacks, 12 QB hits and seven tackles for loss last season, adding two forced fumbles.

The Eagles saw Javon Hargrave play well last season, and they used a third-round pick on Milton Williams last year. But Cox coming back will surely help a team that can bolster its lineup with three first-round selections next month.

Eagles To Release Fletcher Cox

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 Coxaccording 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.

Eagles’ Fletcher Cox Drawing Interest

The Eagles are getting calls on defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). The Pro Bowler, who was nearly dealt before the fall deadline, is a name to watch as the trade market continues to heat up. 

The Steelers were among those with interest last time around, though they ultimately warded off by the Eagles’ asking price of a third-round pick.

There were some teams interested in me, and the most important part of it was they wanted me here, and I wanted to be here and I’m happy to be here,” Cox said in early November.

The 31-year-old (32 in December) might not be in the Birds’ plans for 2022. As it stands, he’s set to carry a $14.9MM cap figure on the 2022 books, followed by $12.7MM in 2023. Under the current contract, a release isn’t a viable option, because it’d leave a whopping $40.9MM dead money hit. Even in a trade scenario, another restructure may be in order.

Cox, a six-time Pro Bowler, finished 2021 with 35 stops, 3.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. For his career, the 310-pound lineman has 58 sacks and 443 tackles to his credit, all with the Eagles.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/3/22

Here are Monday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OT Mike Remmers (remains on IR)

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Raymond Calais (remains on IR)

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team