Should the Eagles look into trading Fletcher Cox this offseason?
Ahead of the 2021 NFL trade deadline, it looked like the Eagles were going to be moving on from long-time franchise staple Fletcher Cox.
The Las Vegas Raiders were interested, and Fletch even posted what appeared to be a goodbye on his Instagram. Philly kept Cox in the loop the entire time and eventually decided to hold onto him for the remainder of the season.
However, as we enter the beginning of the NFL offseason, Cox could finally be on the move. There haven’t been any rumors just yet, but being one of the larger cap-hits on the team at 31-years-old makes him a prime candidate to be shipped out.
Cox was still good last season, but it was arguably the worst of his career, posting low numbers across the board.
|Tackles||Sacks||Tackles for loss||QB Hits||PFF Grade|
|35 (2nd lowest in career)||3.5 (2nd lowest in career)||7||12||68.7|
Looking at his current contract, the Eagles would get some help financially if they let him go, but not a whole lot. Right now, Cox has a $15 million cap hit for the 2022 season. If they traded him before June 1st, Philadelphia would receive a $40 million dead cap hit, losing $25 million of their current cap space.
A trade after June 1st would save the Eagles $2 million in cap space, with a $12 million dead cap hit. And if they wanted to restructure his deal again, the Eagles would save just $800,000 in cap.
The biggest negative is the current long-term impact of a move. In 2023 the Eagles would accrue a $28 million dead cap hit if they moved Cox after June 1st and a $16 million hit in 2024. If Cox remains with the team, those cap hits are only $12 million and $16 million.
Philadelphia’s cap savings would be identical if they were to cut him, so that’s not a realistic option. Based on the trade deadline offers, a potential deal for Cox would likely be a day-two draft pick, likely a third-rounder.
With the long-term cap hits, it’s far better for the Eagles to hold onto Cox and re-evaluate his future next off-season. Having that extra cap space is far more valuable than a third-rounder, especially when you can get that same deal again next off-season.
Fletch is still a great player, and is still amongst the better defensive tackles in the NFL. His contract is the biggest reason his trade value is so low, and being paired with Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, and potentially a first-round pick could help rebound his value next season.
Mandatory Credit: NBC Sports