Notes: On Polk, Thornton And Cox
Chris Polk has yet to sign his tender from the Eagles, and the same reportedly applies to Cedric Thornton. Is this a big deal?
Not really. Teams have until April 24 to submit offer sheets to restricted free agents. It makes sense to keep your options open until then. If another team comes to the table with an offer, that means more leverage/money, so why cut off that avenue prematurely? And as friend of the blog Joel Corry points out, that April 24 deadline applies only to dealings with other clubs. A player is not required to sign the tender from his current team before then, so there’s no real rush here.
In the case of Thornton, it sounds like the two sides might be trying to hammer out a new contract. From Mark Eckel of NJ.com:
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject, the Eagles and Thornton were believed to be working on a longer deal that would keep the 6-4, 309-pound linemen with the Eagles beyond the 2015 season.
The Eagles reportedly gave Thornton a second-round tender and Polk a low tender. If they decided not to match another team’s offer for Thornton, they would get a second-round pick as compensation. They would not receive any compensation for losing Polk.
Another date to keep in mind is May 3. That’s the deadline for the Eagles to exercise the fifth-year option in Fletcher Cox‘s contract.
Jimmy Kempski wrote more on the subject today.
While there have been reports that the Eagles have not yet approached Cox about a contract extension, fear not. The Eagles will unquestionably exercise their fifth year option if they cannot work out an extension for Cox and he survives draft weekend without being traded.
In other words, while other 2012 draft picks like Mychal Kendricks, Vinny Curry and Brandon Boykin are definitively heading into the final year of their rookie deals, Cox’s rookie deal likely won’t really conclude until after the 2016 season.
Only first-round picks have a fifth-year option in their rookie contracts under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, hence why this doesn’t apply to the rest of the Eagles’ 2012 draft class. If the team does decide to exercise it — and there’s little reason for them not to — Cox would make a touch under $8 million in 2016, according to Corry.