The Philadelphia Eagles nearly parted ways with defensive tackle Fletcher Cox at the NFL trade deadline in 2021. Months later, there seems to be a real possibility the long-time Eagles’ defender could be on the move.
Cox, drafted by Philadelphia in the 2012 NFL Draft, almost found himself on the move in November. With the Eagles’ front office looking to make changes this offseason – trimming salary and becoming a more athletic defense – Cox is being floated in NFL trade rumors once more.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, multiple teams have called Philadelphia about Cox and his potential availability. While there are no guarantees a deal gets done, it seems the Eagles are once again willing to entertain discussions.
Impact of Fletcher Cox contract on a potential trade return
A six-time Pro Bowl selection (2015-’20), it’s very possible Cox’s best days are behind him. In his age-31 season, the veteran defensive tackle struggled against the run (20 stops 53.6 PFF grade). However, he remains a very productive interior pass rusher.
- Fletcher Cox stats (2021): 41 pressures, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
It’s evident why multiple teams want the 6-foot-4 defensive tackle in the trenches for their defense. However, Cox carries a $14.946 million cap hit for the 2022 season. That’s a significant chunk to dedicate to an interior lineman on the wrong side of 30. Moving him could be even more costly for Philadelphia.
According to OvertheCap.com, trading Cox before June 1 would result in a $25.98 million cap hit for Philadelphia. If he’s designated as a post-7/1 transaction, the Eagles would gain $2.12 million in cap space for the 2022 season. However, it would eat up an additional $15 million in cap room next year.
Realistically, the Eagles might have to hope a team is willing to offer a 3rd round pick. The Los Angeles Chargers just acquired All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack for a second-round pick, with his value brought down because of his contract. As a result, Philadelphia should set expectations relatively low regarding the offers for Cox.