Fletcher Cox just signed a multimillion-dollar contract to play football for the Philadelphia Eagles that will guarantee he takes home $63 million.
Is it too much money? Well, of course it is!
Cox’s contract guarantees him just $2 million less overall than quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Eli Manning. And three players just behind him in guaranteed money are also quarterbacks: Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton. So far as I can tell, Cox is never going to complete a game-winning pass following a game-winning drive.
But the Eagles were handcuffed.
Cox and his agent played the pity party perfectly. He missed all of the volunteer mini-camps the Eagles conducted as a contract “hold-out.” Somehow, the Eagles got him to agree to come to the mandatory mini-camp only by guaranteeing that he would do nothing more than sit around and watch, much like the kickers and punters.
What Cox had in his favor, though, is that he is the Eagles’ best player and one of the most dominant defensive tackles, if not the most dominant, in the game. Somehow the league has gotten back to a point where defense means something. And big-time defensive line players, who get to the quarterback and blast running backs, are essential. The Eagles are trying to build a defense under Jim Schwartz that matters, and Schwartz couldn’t do it without Cox. With Vinny Curry at right end, Cox and Benny Logan inside, and Brandon Graham sharing the other end with Connor Barwin, the Eagles are going to be hell on wheels up front. And since their offense fairly stinks, the Eagles defense is what’s going to carry the Birds to whatever record they achieve.
But make no mistake, the Cox contract ultimately is going to be passed down to you, the fans. Parking is now at an astronomical $40 in Lincoln Financial Field lots. Expect that to go up shortly. Tickets are the same right now, but with the salary cap increasing and the Eagles paying out even more money for salaries, the fans will be hit in the pocket book.
Here’s one thing Eagles management has figured out: Philadelphia fans cannot do without their football. So, just as cigarette smokers were unfazed by 500 percent taxes on their smokes, and Philadelphia residents (though they are bitching right now) will soon pay more than $3 for a liter of sugary soda, Eagles fans will keep coming and buying and paying.
And Fletcher Cox will be laughing all the way to the bank.