Standing in front of a completely empty locker at the NovaCare Complex, Eagles great Fletcher Cox said he hasn't made any decisions about his future.
What about cleaning?
“There was a lot of stuff in there,” Cox said. “I needed to clean it up.”
Cox, 33, added 12 years' worth of accumulation on Wednesday, but it's fair to wonder if the six-time Pro Bowler has already played his final game with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2012. do not have.
While much of this week's attention has focused on Jason Kelce's possible retirement, another great player may be retiring as well.
After playing with the Eagles on a one-year contract in 2023, Cox may not return next year.
“You just have to see where the chips fall,” Cox said. “Obviously, they drafted young talent and they're really good. They've come a long way since they got here. Jordan (Davis) and Jaylen (Carter), they learned the game themselves. , has done a really, really great job of learning to be a professional.”
A short time later, Davis told reporters as if Cox was definitely leaving.
At one point, Davis even had to be careful not to get too emotional talking about Cox, a veteran coach.
“I knew this was going to happen, but I never thought it would turn out like this,” Davis said. “When you watch a guy grow up, he's like your hero. I had the opportunity to work with him every day. I'm so lucky. And we have to see him go away.” No. Indeed, he left of his own volition. Better than many say.
“But watching him walk away hurts my heart. It stings. And it hurts even more because I couldn't send him off the right way. We didn't send him off into the sunset; he crashed and burned us. And he has to walk out, he has to limp out, he has to crawl out. No need.”
Davis said he and the other young defensive linemen can no longer use Cox as a “security blanket” because he is no longer in this world.
The Eagles drafted Davis and Carter in the first round in quick succession, and the Eagles will continue to rely on both players. Davis said he and his former teammates at Georgia have already talked about the need to take care of the D-line room going forward.
Cox is the best player of all time and was very good in 2023 as well. Although he is no longer a Pro Bowler, Cox played the most snaps of any Interior defensive lineman on the team, recording five sacks, 33 tackles for loss, 17 QB hits, and three TFLs. Total pressure is 49.
Cox played the 2023 season on a one-year contract worth $10 million. And he was worth it.
“Turn on the tape,” Cox said. “I feel like we dominated the game and took over the game. No. 1 was a good teammate, a good leader and loved being around his guys. So it was definitely exciting. ”
There has been a strong bond between Cox and Davis over the past two years. When Cox missed a rare game in October, Davis commented on how strange it was playing without Cox. But it looks like it could become a reality in 2024.
It certainly appears that Philadelphia is undergoing a guard change at the defensive tackle position. If Davis and Carter can succeed in the NFL, they will do so with many lessons learned from Cox, whom Davis called a “pillar of the organization.”
“His presence will definitely be missed,” Davis said. “You look at his locker and it's like empty. It's like, damn. Damn.”
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