Fletcher Cox

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

Steelers, Eagles Discussed Fletcher Cox Trade

The Eagles and Steelers discussed a trade that would have sent Fletcher Cox to Pittsburgh, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. However, the Steelers were ultimately warded off by the Eagles’ asking price of a third-round pick. 

Trading Cox would have left Eagles GM Howie Roseman with a sizable dead money hit. However, Kevin Colbert would have been able to fit his contract under the 2021 books, thanks to his recent restructure.

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 this past week, via The Athletic.

Cox would have provided an immediate boost to the Steelers, who are without Tyson Alualu and awaiting the return of defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt. The 30-year-old (31 in December) also drew interest from other clubs, JLC hears, so there’s clearly a market for his services. That’s good news for Cox, who might not be in the Birds’ plans for 2022.

Cox, a six-time Pro Bowler, has started in all nine of his games this year, including today’s game against the Chargers. Heading into this afternoon, he’s recorded 12 tackles, and one sack, one fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown.

Eagles Won’t Trade Fletcher Cox

The Eagles did not find a suitable trade involving Fletcher Cox before today’s deadline (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). However, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Birds were aggressively trying to deal Cox, according to two NFL sources who spoke with Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter). 

Trading Cox would have left the Eagles with an enormous cap hit, thanks to his six-year, $103MM contract. Cox still has another full year to go on his contract, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll play that out in Philadelphia. Keeping the defensive lineman under his current pact would result in a $23.8MM cap hit for 2022.

Cox has mostly lived up to his contract, but this is standard operating procedure for aging vets in the NFL. Even after collecting six straight Pro Bowls, the Eagles didn’t want to keep Cox through the end of the year.

FOREVER PHILLY!!!!!,” Cox tweeted on Tuesday.

Forever might be an overstatement, but Cox will at least stay with the flock for the rest of this campaign. Cox, 31 in December, has started in all eight of his games this year while tallying one fumble recovery, one defensive touchdown, 12 tackles, and one sack to bring his career total to 55.5. He’ll make his next start on Sunday when the Eagles face the Chargers.

Eagles DT Fletcher Cox Drawing Trade Interest

Teams have called the Eagles to inquire about the possibility of trading for DT Fletcher Cox, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. Those clubs are attempting to acquire Cox for a mid- to late-round selection, but Rapoport says GM Howie Roseman would require a “high” pick to pull the trigger.

Philadelphia selected Cox, who will turn 31 in December, with the No. 12 overall pick of the 2012 draft. He is well-established as a franchise icon, having earned six consecutive Pro Bowl nods from 2015-20, one First Team All-Pro selection (2018), and, of course, a Super Bowl ring. The club furnished him with a six-year, $103MM contract in 2016, but his best days seem to be behind him.

Cox is mired in something of a down year, and he has publicly complained about the scheme that defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is running. With the 2-5 Eagles unlikely to make a postseason run in 2021, it stands to reason that Roseman would at least entertain calls from contenders looking to fill a hole on the interior of their defensive lines.

However, the Eagles did restructure Cox’s contract earlier this year, which could make him virtually untradeable. Although the restructure bought Philadelphia a fair amount of cap relief this season, it pushed a great deal of guaranteed money into future seasons, and a trade would leave a considerable dead cap charge on the Eagles’ books. And if Roseman is going to absorb that type of hit, he is only going to do it for a Day 2 selection, which other clubs might view as a prohibitive cost in light of Cox’s disappointing 2021 effort.

The Eagles might also consider trading DE Derek Barnett, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com tweets. Barnett, a 2017 first-rounder, has yet to record a sack in 2021, but teams are always in search of edge help, and as Barnett is eligible for free agency this offseason, Roseman may be willing to swing a deal.

Eagles Rework Fletcher Cox’s Contract

The Eagles have converted $13.925MM of Fletcher Cox‘s base salary into a signing bonus (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com). With a little help from the veteran defensive tackle, the Birds have created roughly $11.14MM in cap space for 2021.

[RELATED: Eagles Sign LT Jordan Mailata To Four-Year Extension]

Cox is tied to Philly through the 2022 season as he plays out his six-year, $103MM deal. Cox has mostly held up his end of the bargain. At the time of signing, he was coming off of his first ever Pro Bowl appearance. Now, he’s up to six straight, including a 2018 All-Pro nod.

Cox remains a key cog on the Eagles’ defensive line, having notched 6.5 sacks from the interior last year. If Cox loses a step, the Eagles might not be inclined to carry his $23.8MM cap hit into 2022. But, for now, they’re able to comfortably keep him on the roster, thanks to the payout adjustment.