Eagles All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is the kind of young man, who can handle signing a $103 million dollar contract and not let it change him. We all know he is an outstanding player. He’s only 25 years old and he has not reached his peak as a defensive tackle.
I think the Eagles had to sign him and they had to sign their best young players. They couldn’t let Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz walk when their contracts are up. It would have difficult to think of not signing Vinny Curry and Malcolm Jenkins.
Most of these contracts are for two or three years because the guaranteed money is paid early in the deals. If after a couple of years they’re not getting the type of performances they want, they can let these guys walk.
Of course the playing ability of Cox was very important in him getting that type of money, but it’s not the only thing you must consider when you going to sign a guy to a life-changing contract. I feel very comfortable in saying that Cox will not let this change who he is and what he believes about the way he should prepare for the season and how he should behave as a teammate. The foundation of who he is as a person is intact and solid.
This wasn’t the case with Albert Haynesworth a few years back. He got fat and the signing turned out to be a terrible mistake. Cox is worker, who will be ready to play when the season starts.
When asked what goes through his mind after signing this size of a contract, Cox responded, “I looked at it just to continue to humble myself, just keep working every day in practice, man. (I want) to be the leader that this team is expecting me to be; to show up every day and to work.”
Most Eagles fans can understand the Birds having no choice in giving big money to Cox, but they’re not as sure about giving big money to other young players like Johnson, Ertz, Curry,
“But when you look at the teams that are really good teams and have a chance to be great teams, it’s because they have a core group of players that they keep together”, Roseman said yesterday at his news conference. “And when you’re changing guys in and out and you’re losing good players that you invested draft picks, it’s hard to build anything. It’s hard to sustain anything, and so we know we have a lot of other areas that we have to improve. Again, it would have been much easier from all of our perspectives to invest in guys that could just make this year’s team better. But we felt like we had to put ourselves in a position to have at some point a run of success where it’s not just piecemeal year-to-year. So I think that’s fair. You’re talking about — you’re not talking about a team that has just won the Super Bowl and we have a lot of work to do here. But we can’t do it without good players. We have to keep our good players and then build layers on top of it. The last point on that, too, is when we went back and looked at the last few years, teams are keeping their own players. Free agency isn’t what it was even five or six years ago. So how are you getting good players? You’ve got to keep your own, you’ve got to draft well and then hopefully augment it in some way with free agency or trades. But that free agency aspect is getting harder. It’s getting more competitive and that was part of our calculation.”