Adam Schefter: Fletcher Cox Considered Holding Out
ESPN’s Adam Schefter appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic’s morning show Tuesday and offered some interesting nuggets about the Fletcher Cox situation.
“Fletcher Cox had given some serious consideration to not showing up to the mandatory minicamp,” said Schefter. “[He] decided to go when the Eagles said ‘Hey, we’re gonna keep talking about this, we’re gonna keep coming up with proposals to try to get this worked out.’ And so often we see players stay away.”
Just a few days after the end of mandatory minicamp, the 25-year-old defensive tackle agreed to a six-year $103 million extension, with $63 million guaranteed. The guaranteed money is a record for a non-quarterback.
With his extension, it set ramifications for future deals, especially possible ones for Von Miller with the Broncos and Muhammad Wilkerson with the Jets.
“I think that when those teams see this deal, it sends shivers down their backsides,” said Schefter, “because the Broncos felt like they got as far as they could go, offering Von Miller as much as they could. And this changes the parameters of the numbers and the discussion.
“The fact of the matter is that the Fletcher Cox deal redefines what is and isn’t acceptable for a defensive lineman, and it’s big money.”
Not only will his contract impact those two players, it’ll also have an impact on Colts QB Andrew Luck, who’s in the final year of his rookie contract.
Including Cox, the Eagles paid big money towards Vinny Curry and Malcolm Jenkins this offseason, and also signed Rodney McLeod to a long-term deal. Schefter hinted at the Eagles locking up their defensive nucleus long-term, similar to what they did early in the Donovan McNabb era with Brian Dawkins, Sheldon Brown, and Lito Sheppard.
Schefter compared the Cox signing to that of Albert Haynesworth when he signed his deal with the Washington Redskins in 2008. Unlike Haynesworth, Schefter mentioned that Cox has never had any concerns regarding his behavior.
“You’ve never heard that Fletcher Cox had ‘dog’ in him,” said Schefter. “He’s regarded as one of the team leaders, a guy that they want to build around. There was a real question about [Haynesworth] coming out of Tennessee that there was the stomping incident, there was the work ethic incident, there was the reason that he even dropped in the draft from really a top one or two, to where he was taken in the draft.
“Those questions have not really existed here with Fletcher Cox. Contracts of this size, it’s always part of the factoring how it’s gonna impact the guy and his motivation and desire, but I think the great ones are not motivated by that money as attractive and nice as it is. You do this because you love this because you take pride in this because you’re a consummate pro, and whether you’re paid $114 million or $114, you go about the job the same exact way. And I think that’s part of the belief on Fletcher Cox, and we’ll see whether or not it turns out to be true.”
Schefter also talked about Carson Wentz and what the team’s expectations are for him in 2016.
“In a perfect world, they’d like to get through the year without playing him,” Schefter remarked. “They want to make sure that they grow this guy, and that he is maximized to the talent ability for years and years to come. And so, in that perfect world, they don’t play him at all this year. That’s the hope. But, you think about it, I think the Eagles so far, through the only part of the offseason program, they have to be very pleased because you make a deal like that and it goes the other way, wow, it’s bad. But everything they’ve seen so far has been very encouraging, and very promising.”
“There are a few teams here, the Rams, the Eagles, the Browns, that really put a lot on the line here, that have a lot riding on these quarterbacks and quarterbacks they didn’t take. And that to me is one of the most interesting things to follow and track as the years go on.”