Eagles Get Things Done with Fletcher Cox
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - For weeks on The Sports Bash, we told you not to worry about Fletcher Cox and his long-term future with the Philadelphia Eagles and now you know why.
The Eagles knew the fifth-year defensive tackle was worth a lot of money and Howie Roseman intimated that at every turn, confirming that Philadelphia made none of its high-profile offseason moves without Fletcher in mind.
“We have to make sure that we’re always in a place to be able to get Fletcher done,” Roseman said earlier this offseason. “So anything we do, it’s in the back of our mind that we want to get Fletcher done. Whether that’s today, tomorrow, whatever point in time, we want Fletcher to be here.”
Then came last week's mandatory minicamp in which Cox showed up with no complaints and the Eagles held the Pro Bowl selection out of team drills, a clear indication both sides had a wink-wink agreement in place to not push things until pen was put to paper.
That happened on Monday as Cox inked a six-year extension worth $103 million total if the three-technique actually sees the end of the contract in 2022. The big number for Cox though was the $63 million in guaranteed money, the most ever for a non-quarterback in NFL history.
Cox quickly took to Twitter and thanked Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for his financial windfall.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, a gaudy $55.549 million of the deal is fully guaranteed by March of next year and Cox will be depositing $26 million the minute he puts ink on the paper.
The key points to the deal are a $26 million signing bonus, a very manageable $1.299 million fully-guaranteed base salary for next season and a $6 million option bonus due in 2017, which is fully guaranteed.
Cox's $3 million base salary in '18 is also fully guaranteed while an $11.5 million base salary for '18 is guaranteed only for injury right now but vests in March of '17.
The base salary jumps to $15.6 million in '19, with $7.75 million of that also becoming fully guaranteed in March '17 with the other $7.75 million becoming fully guaranteed in March '18.
The base salaries for the final three years are $12.9M, $15M and $16.1M with $1 million roster bonuses due in March each of those years.
From a practical standpoint, the Eagles would incur a $20.8 million cap charge if they released Cox after year one and $20.4 million after the second year, which means it's very likely he will see all the guaranteed money in this contract.
Before the extension Cox was set to enter the final year of his rookie deal which was sto pay him $7.799 million as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Since becoming a full-time starter in Week 8 of his rookie season, Cox has played and started all but one game for the Eagles and has started 49 consecutive contests (including one postseason encounter) over the last three seasons.
Last season, Cox started all 16 games for the third straight year and earned his first career Pro Bowl berth after setting single-season career highs in total tackles (104), solo tackles (80), tackles for a loss (16 1/2), sacks (9 1/2) and forced fumbles (three).
In addition to the personal marks that he set in 2015, Cox led the Eagles defense in sacks, TFLs, and QB hurries (32), while tying for the team lead in forced fumbles. A disruptive pass rusher, Cox’s 22 career sacks are already the sixth-most by an interior defensive lineman in franchise history.
Overall, he has appeared in 64 games (58 starts) and compiled 308 tackles (232 solo), 31 1/2 tackles for loss and 22 sacks in his four-year career.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen