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.