Veteran DT Cox Back For 12th Season
Despite seeing some major departures this offseason, the Eagles have also retained several pieces of their defending NFC Championship squad.
On Wednesday, hours after the official start of the new NFL league year, the team reportedly agreed to bring back veteran defensive tackle Fletcher Cox for a 12th season.
Six-time Pro-Bowl DT Fletcher Cox is returning to the Eagles on a one-year, $10 million deal, per sources. Eagles get the “hometown discount” as he turned down more lucrative offers. pic.twitter.com/bEa3yLrJhi
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2023
Cox, a 2012 first-round pick and six-time Pro Bowler, recorded seven sacks last year on a defensive line primarily responsible for the team’s franchise-record 70 sacks.
The former Mississippi State star’s return should help alleviate the loss of defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, who parlayed his 11-sack season into a monster deal with the 49ers, whom the Eagles beat in the NFC Championship.
Cox played 65% of the snaps this past season, his lowest percentage since playing 67% in 2017, the year he helped the Eagles win their first Super Bowl. His seven sacks were the third-most of his career and he also finished with 14 quarterback hits, fifth on the team.
Cox joins cornerback James Bradberry, defensive end Brandon Graham, and running back Boston Scott as Eagles who tested free agency but ultimately returned, helping to offset the losses of Hargrave, safety Marcus Epps, and linebackers T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White in free agecy.
Earlier in the day, the Eagles parted with Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay after both sides couldn’t agree on a new deal, absorbing a sizable cap hit to avoid paying the $17 million they would’ve owed Slay in base salary.
Still available to return is safety C.J Gardner-Johnson, another free agent who’s testing the market but hasn’t yet signed.
The Eagles, who always build their team through the trenches, will return Cox, Graham, Pro Bowl edge rusher Haason Reddick, 2021 Pro Bowl defensive end Josh Sweat and 2022 first-round defensive tackle Jordan Davis next year, which should again give them one of the league’s best defensive lines.
Last year, the Eagles released Cox to absorb a cap hit from his restructure but re-signed him for up to $14 million on a one-year deal after he briefly tested the market. Cox has said he loves playing in Philadelphia.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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