Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
EaglesAddict

Eagles should be looking for Fletcher Cox trade opportunities

Recommended Posts

Eagles should be looking for Fletcher Cox trade opportunities

Kempski_Headshot_2016-Final.jpg
BY JIMMY KEMPSKI
PhillyVoice Staff
  •  
from Limited - PICKSWISE Sponsorship Badge
Eagles_Cowboys_Fletcher_Cox_sack_Week8_Kate_Frese_11022040.jpgKATE FRESE/FOR PHILLYVOICE

Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox sacks Cowboys QB Ben DiNucci.

For the bulk of his nine seasons in the NFL, Fletcher Cox has been the best player on the Philadelphia Eagles' defense, and probably still holds that title heading into the 2021 season. The Eagles should trade him.

What? Why? Three reasons:

 

  1. He's expensive.
  2. He's aging.
  3. They can get something good for him now, but if they wait it'll be too late.

 

Let's explore each of those three reasons.

He's expensive

Cox carries huge cap hits in each of the next two seasons. He'll count for $23,879,939 in 2021, and $23,779,939 in 2022, the last year of his deal. Additionally, as a result of some previous can-kicking down the road, the Eagles are on the hook for almost $6.5 million on the cap after his contract ends.

The Eagles would take a dead money hit spread out over two years of $21,034,757 if they traded him. But, they would be off the hook on his base salaries of $15,000,000 in 2021 and $16,100,000 in 2022, as well as a $1 million roster bonus in 2022. That $32 million would be better spent on players who can help the team whenever they are ready to contend for a Super Bowl again.

 

 

 

 

 

He's aging

Cox is now 30 years old. He'll turn 31 in December, and his contract expires after the 2022 season. If the Eagles were going to contend in 2021 or perhaps 2022, then they should just keep him. But since the owner already conceded that 2021 will be a "retooling" year and anyone with a pulse who follows this team can see that this aging roster is going to have to undergo a major changeover, it's unlikely that 2022 is going to be a Super Bowl-contending year as well. 

So you can probably do that math.

They can get something good for him now, but if they wait it'll be too late

In 2018, when Cox was in his prime, he had 10.5 sacks an 34 QB hits. In 2019 and 2020 combined, he had 10 sacks and 19 quarterback hits. One year from now, Cox will one year older. Trust me, I did the math on that. Even if his numbers in 2021 stay at the same levels they were in 2019 and 2020, he's going to be worth less to other teams. And if he declines further, you're probably looking at another Zach Ertz-like situation.

 

His value likely won't be higher going forward than it is right now. So, you know, do it now.

Who would have interest?

Any contender. As noted above, Cox had his best season in the NFL in 2018, when he played in a 4-3 one-gap, occasional wide-nine scheme under Jim Schwartz. His second-best season was in 2015, when he had 71(!) tackles, 9.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 20 quarterback hits playing in a 3-4 two-gap scheme under Billy Davis. The point — Cox is a brute powerhouse with incredible athleticism who can excel in any scheme.

In a recent ranking of interior defensive linemen by ESPN, fueled by a survey of "more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players," Cox ranked fifth:

 

"A little bit on the descent, but you know where he is at all times," said an NFC scout. "He's still tops on the scouting report when you prepare for Philly's defense. There was a time not too long ago when he was No. 2 [among interior D-linemen] and you wouldn't look back."

Added an NFC exec: "He's still a problem to me. He was on a bad defense."

 

Cox is better than Cam Heyward, who ranked fourth on that list, but whatever. The point is that he is still very highly thought of by NFL personnel people.

The only catch is that any theoretical suitor would have to either have room under the salary cap for Cox's $15 million salary in 2021, or the willingness to make room for him.

 

 

 

 

And those teams are?

Eh, I'll throw some darts, I guess:

 Chargers: The Chargers have just under $20 million in cap space, they are thought of as a contender, they have a new head coach Brandon Staley who previously had a dominant DT in his last stop as the Rams' DC, and Cox would be a major upgrade over projected starter Justin Jones. 

 Patriots: The Pats drafted Christian Barmore in the second round, but Cox would be an immediate playmaker on a weak interior D-line rotation.

 Seahawks: Seattle always seems to be in on older defensive linemen when they become available, and they still have severe needs along their D-line. They'd have to move a little money around, but they have an abundance of cap space in 2022.

 Cardinals: The Cards have taken an "all-in" approach this offseason, and a trade for Cox would fit that theme.

So what could the Eagles get in return for Cox?

A second-round pick — a late 2, that is, given that the prospective suitor would be a contender — feels like a reasonable asking price.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say, I agree with this.  I was on board with the Eagles trading Ertz last year when they certainly would have gotten far better value.  Cox feels like the same situation.  I mean, I think he's a very good player and would obviously bring value to the team this year, but if we're being realistic, chances are this team isn't going to be serious contenders.  Cox seems to be on the start of the decline...within 2 years from now, he will be "run of the mill" with declined skills.  Sell now, get value before we have a similar scenario as we do Ertz (as far as trading a player a year too late).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, EaglesAddict said:

Have to say, I agree with this.  I was on board with the Eagles trading Ertz last year when they certainly would have gotten far better value.  Cox feels like the same situation.  I mean, I think he's a very good player and would obviously bring value to the team this year, but if we're being realistic, chances are this team isn't going to be serious contenders.  Cox seems to be on the start of the decline...within 2 years from now, he will be "run of the mill" with declined skills.  Sell now, get value before we have a similar scenario as we do Ertz (as far as trading a player a year too late).

Saved me a lot of typing ... was just about to post a response almost identical to this.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kempski's a moron, half the article is saying Fletch is too expensive (he is) the other half is saying he's declining (he probably is), no-one is trading for his next two years cap hits, the return would be so small to get someone to take the cap hit that it would be a pointless exercise, plus who do you get in to replace him?  All the good free agents are long gone

Some guy has this exact same idea in a thread on TATE every pre season, 'hey guys what if we trade this player with a stupidly expensive contract and declining production for draft picks'

Putting a big hole in your d line and taking a chunk of Vet leadership out of the locker room for a late second at best? Yeah I'll pass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Cochis_Calhoun said:

Kempski's a moron, half the article is saying Fletch is too expensive (he is) the other half is saying he's declining (he probably is), no-one is trading for his next two years cap hits, the return would be so small to get someone to take the cap hit that it would be a pointless exercise, plus who do you get in to replace him?  All the good free agents are long gone

Some guy has this exact same idea in a thread on TATE every pre season, 'hey guys what if we trade this player with a stupidly expensive contract and declining production for draft picks'

Putting a big hole in your d line and taking a chunk of Vet leadership out of the locker room for a late second at best? Yeah I'll pass.

He did quote an ESPN survey that's supposedly "fueled by more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players" and ranked 5th.  If we take that at face value, Cox still has some value around the league.  Contract aside, I'm sure he's still viewed as a still-good-enough difference maker, particularly for a team that is ready to go all out to make a run this year.
 

We'd still have Hargrave along with the 2 rookie DT's we just drafted.  I'm good with keeping him OR trading him, but that's just me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, EaglesAddict said:

He did quote an ESPN survey that's supposedly "fueled by more than 50 league executives, coaches, scouts and players" and ranked 5th.  If we take that at face value, Cox still has some value around the league.  Contract aside, I'm sure he's still viewed as a still-good-enough difference maker, particularly for a team that is ready to go all out to make a run this year.
 

We'd still have Hargrave along with the 2 rookie DT's we just drafted.  I'm good with keeping him OR trading him, but that's just me.

But what are you going to trade for a 30 year old DT who's next 2 years rank 1 and 5 of DT cap hits, he's already got 9 years on the clock, I don't think he sign another contract so you can't lower the cap hit.

If Howie didn't trade him for picks pre draft he isn't trading him now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cochis_Calhoun said:

But what are you going to trade for a 30 year old DT who's next 2 years rank 1 and 5 of DT cap hits, he's already got 9 years on the clock, I don't think he sign another contract so you can't lower the cap hit.

If Howie didn't trade him for picks pre draft he isn't trading him now.

Would depend on how I view my team...if I felt a player like Cox could fill a hole (no pun intended :excited:) and he could potentially put us over the top, I'd trade Day 2 pick for him.  Anybody who would do that trade would do it knowing that they're "going for it now" and that they'll prob get 1 good year from him and maybe 1 year of "ok" from him before moving on.

Once camps get rolling and execs start evaluating what they have...plus injuries that happen, etc...the trade market will heat back up.  That said, I agree that it's more of a longshot that Cox actually gets traded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cochis_Calhoun said:

Kempski's a moron, half the article is saying Fletch is too expensive (he is) the other half is saying he's declining (he probably is), no-one is trading for his next two years cap hits, the return would be so small to get someone to take the cap hit that it would be a pointless exercise, plus who do you get in to replace him?  All the good free agents are long gone

Some guy has this exact same idea in a thread on TATE every pre season, 'hey guys what if we trade this player with a stupidly expensive contract and declining production for draft picks'

Putting a big hole in your d line and taking a chunk of Vet leadership out of the locker room for a late second at best? Yeah I'll pass.

Any deal would have to involve Cox agreeing to a restructured deal with the new team.  

And yeah, I'd deal him for a late 2nd ... his value is only going to drop (quickly) moving forward.  By the time we are legitimate contenders again he will have next to nothing left in the tank.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill Walsh used to like to jettison declining veteran players before the drop off in play got too steep.  He knew a thing or two.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you have a young player on the rise sitting on the bench behind an aging vet, such a deal makes sense. But if you're just trying to "get what you can"  for a special player that still plays at a high level, before it's too late, then you're just being stupid. There's no guarantee that what you end up with in return will have any impact (see the Reggie White compensation). 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ultimately I think it comes down to what this team thinks they can do this year. I think they feel they can compete so they'll keep Cox. But if they don't think they can or if they are happy to weaken the side now but for medium term gain then they should trade him. 

I suspect they'll keep him and restructure him during the season... Just my wild guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the love of god no. Eagles need Fletcher as he is one of the best defensive players they have

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont understand this. He still has a few good years left. We are basing his production on the last 2 years where last year was a complete train wreck and the year before that the line was so injured they started Hassan Ridgeway for a good amount of games. Add in that the corners were not great and played in a scheme that allowed the QB to get the ball out as quick as possible and it is no wonder his production has gone down.

Everyone complains that Howie cant draft, but then they want to get rid of one of the few productive players over the years for draft picks. Makes absolutely no sense.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Wormlegs said:

For the love of god no. Eagles need Fletcher as he is one of the best defensive players they have

Need him for what? They aren’t even a playoff team this year, let alone a real contender for the super bowl. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nipples said:

Need him for what? They aren’t even a playoff team this year, let alone a real contender for the super bowl. 

Well... They may be a play off team in this division. But yeah I see your point ultimately. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2021 at 5:02 PM, Cochis_Calhoun said:

But what are you going to trade for a 30 year old DT who's next 2 years rank 1 and 5 of DT cap hits, he's already got 9 years on the clock, I don't think he sign another contract so you can't lower the cap hit.

If Howie didn't trade him for picks pre draft he isn't trading him now.

 

On 7/21/2021 at 5:51 AM, brkmsn said:

When you have a young player on the rise sitting on the bench behind an aging vet, such a deal makes sense. But if you're just trying to "get what you can"  for a special player that still plays at a high level, before it's too late, then you're just being stupid. There's no guarantee that what you end up with in return will have any impact (see the Reggie White compensation). 

 

17 hours ago, pallidrone said:

I dont understand this. He still has a few good years left. We are basing his production on the last 2 years where last year was a complete train wreck and the year before that the line was so injured they started Hassan Ridgeway for a good amount of games. Add in that the corners were not great and played in a scheme that allowed the QB to get the ball out as quick as possible and it is no wonder his production has gone down.

Everyone complains that Howie cant draft, but then they want to get rid of one of the few productive players over the years for draft picks. Makes absolutely no sense.

Trading him makes no sense for the various reasons above.

Also the Eagles might be competitive sooner than people think, particularly if Hurts is good.

We have a lot of very good players around 30 (Graham, Cox, Slay, McLeod, Brooks, Johnson, Kelce etc). If Siriani and Hurts can hit the ground running then who’s to say we can’t make a last run with them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, UK_EaglesFan89 said:

Well... They may be a play off team in this division. But yeah I see your point ultimately. 

Nah, I don’t even think they’re a playoff team in this division. More likely heading for a top 10 draft pick. 
 

Only way they are a playoff team, IMO, is if Hurts surprises and turns out to be a pro bowl level QB. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, nipples said:

Nah, I don’t even think they’re a playoff team in this division. More likely heading for a top 10 draft pick. 
 

Only way they are a playoff team, IMO, is if Hurts surprises and turns out to be a pro bowl level QB. 

There are many ways this team could be a playoff team. The division could suck again. Other teams could get hurt. They could end up having a great run game. They could have a great defense anchored by Fletcher Cox. 

To throw away a season before it even starts is silly. If football has taught us anything, it is that anything can happen during a season and teams are rarely as good or as bad as they may seem on paper.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ManchesterEagle said:

Also the Eagles might be competitive sooner than people think, particularly if Hurts is good.

We have a lot of very good players around 30 (Graham, Cox, Slay, McLeod, Brooks, Johnson, Kelce etc). If Siriani and Hurts can hit the ground running then who’s to say we can’t make a last run with them. 

Pretty good points there.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pallidrone said:

There are many ways this team could be a playoff team. The division could suck again. Other teams could get hurt. They could end up having a great run game. They could have a great defense anchored by Fletcher Cox. 

To throw away a season before it even starts is silly. If football has taught us anything, it is that anything can happen during a season and teams are rarely as good or as bad as they may seem on paper.

Get back to me week 8 when they’ve only got 2 or 3 wins. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, nipples said:

Get back to me week 8 when they’ve only got 2 or 3 wins. 

Curious, what would be 3 wins in the first 8 games.  I am struggling to find them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, downundermike said:

Curious, what would be 3 wins in the first 8 games.  I am struggling to find them.

I could see us winning 1 of the first 2 against either Atlanta or SF.  

The Panthers, Raiders, and Lions shouldn't be considered automatic losses.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With free agency and the draft in the rear view mirror, I'd rather wait until next offseason so the team can draft his heir apparent. Unless Milton is the guy they think can take over, which I highly doubt. Personally, I don't mind if he stays or goes. A Fletcher Cox at 70-80% is still better than most defensive tackles in the league.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, time2rock said:

The Panthers, Raiders, and Lions shouldn't be considered automatic losses.  

All on the road.  Hard to win on the road in the NFL, let alone 3 out of 4 weeks with TB in the middle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, downundermike said:

All on the road.  Hard to win on the road in the NFL, let alone 3 out of 4 weeks with TB in the middle.

All on road except 9ers.  But agree with your point about how difficult it is to win on the road.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...