Roseman Explains Approach To Cox Negotiations

"It wasn't a leverage game here."

Talks between the Eagles and Fletcher Cox accelerated over this past week. The two sides were far apart during a portion of their months-long negotiations, Howie Roseman said, but were finally able to come to an agreement earlier this week that includes $63.3 million in guarantees for the 25-year-old defensive tackle.

What made it come together now?

“I think I just said, ‘Yes,'” Roseman responded with a laugh. “You look at the contract, it wasn’t a leverage game here because we understood that at some point we had to get him under contract long-term to build the kind of team that we want to build  here. So it did go for a long period of time. I feel like we fought the good fight and we really tried to do the best we could so we can keep more players around here, but at the end of the day we need Fletcher Cox going forward, we need that player in the middle of our defense. We believe in getting pressure on the quarterback and preventing pressure on the quarterback, and he can do that for us.”

Roseman conceded leverage publicly long ago, making it very clear through the media how valuable Cox was to the organization and that they were committed to keeping him in Philadelphia for a long time. “We’re not going to win the deal and we’re not trying to win the deal,” Roseman said back in mid-April. And they didn’t. Cox received the highest guarantee for any non-quarterback in the history of the league.

Roseman explained on Thursday that the team wanted to communicate positively with Cox during some tough negotiations to avoid any chance of misunderstanding or acrimony. That was more important than any money that would have been saved by holding their cards a little tighter.

While it is an extraordinary pay day, the market is only going up. Cox would have only been more expensive to sign the longer the Eagles waited — particularly when you consider the damage he can do in Jim Schwartz‘s scheme, like Marcell Dareus and Ndamukong Suh before him.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” Roseman said of the large financial commitment, “but it’s also hard to find players that can change the game on either side of the ball and then represent what you are about.

“When I talked to Fletch when we did this, he’s got a chance to be a great player in the history of this franchise. Our responsibility is keeping as many great players as we can.”

Cox got the phone call from his agent, Todd France, while tinkering with one of his race cars in his shop. After going over the details he gave the green light, and then got right on the phone with his mom.

“She was really, really excited about it, the whole family was excited about it, the whole Yazoo City community is excited about it. And of course, me,” he said.

Cox hasn’t made any big purchases since the windfall, he said. Plenty of time for that.

As far as avoiding the potential pitfalls that can come with such a rich contract, the five-year vet says the key will be to keep his head down while staying true to himself.

“I have high expectations for myself, but all I can be is Fletcher Cox. Be really, really humble about it, come to practice every day, show up every day and let my teammates know that I’m there for them, and that I’m willing to do anything to help this organization win football games week in and week out.”

Mum on Agholor accusations

Roseman and Cox were both asked about the accusation that Nelson Agholor sexually assaulted a dancer at Cheerleaders Gentlemen’s Club last week.

“Unfortunately I can’t comment on an ongoing investigation. I appreciate the question but I have no comment on that,” said Roseman.

Cox, through Twitter, said he was at the establishment on Thursday but had “no involvement in the alleged incident.”

“I released a statement last week and I’m sticking to that statement,” he said. “I released it last week, and that’s all I can say about that.”