Fletcher Cox Contract and Salary Outlook for the Eagles

General Managers around the NFL collectively cursed out Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office after they signed All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox to a record-breaking contract extension on Monday evening.  The 25 year old Cox signed a 6 year, $102 million extension with the added kicker being $63 million guaranteed.  This is the most guaranteed money ever received by a non-quarterback in NFL history.  Eli Manning and Philip Rivers both received $65 million in guaranteed coin and Cox is now third on the list.  Since being drafted 12th overall in the 2012 draft, Cox has 22 sacks in four seasons with a career high 9.5 in 2015.  He will finally get the opportunity to play in a 4-3 scheme with a well-respected defensive coordinator in Jim Schwartz.  Cox played 4-3 during his rookie year in 2012, but that season might as well have not even happened.  Marcell Dareus and Ndamukong Suh were previously the highest ranked defensive players in terms of guaranteed money for a contract.  The Dolphins have already restructured Suh’s deal after one season in Miami.  Dareus switched to a 3-4 in Rex Ryan’s defense last season and his sack totals fell by 8 from 2014.  I don’t think I’m being a homer when I say I would much rather have Cox under the deal he signed than both Dareus and Suh.  He’s the best player on the team and deserves to be paid as such based on his track record as well as his value looking forward paired with Schwartz.  The Eagles have the luxury of moving forward with a rookie quarterback in Carson Wentz meaning he’ll be under his rookie contract for the next couple season.  Now was the perfect time for the Eagles to lock up Fletcher Cox before they potentially have to pay Wentz franchise money.  Howie Roseman and the Eagles have more than doubled the amount of any other team in terms of guaranteed money given out since the start of the new year.  The Eagles have given $280 million guaranteed to guys such as Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Vinny Curry, Brent Celek, Malcolm Jenkins, and Rodney McLeod just to name a few.  The Giants are the next closest team with $140 million after they spent big in free agency on Olivier Vernon and Janorris Jenkins.  Roseman is locking up home-grown players which we all have called for after the failed splurges in NFL free agency in recent years.  The team still has flexibility moving forward with contracts like Jason Peters and Sam Bradford coming off the books soon enough.  Bennie Logan and Jordan Matthews are the next two logical options to receive extensions from the club.  Logan will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season.  It will be interesting to see how Logan adjusts to a 4-3 since he’s played the 3-4 nose tackle spot since being drafted in 2013 out of LSU.  Matthews is still under team control through the 2017 campaign giving him ample time to prove his worth and hopefully eliminate the drop balls.  Doug Pederson will be implementing a West-Coast style offense as opposed to the spread attack ran by Chip Kelly where Matthews was primarily a slot receiver.  If he wants to receive starting receiver money once the time has come he’ll need to prove he can succeed on the outside as well.

 

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