In the early morning hours of this past Saturday, Fletcher Cox's cousin, Melvin Baker, lost his life when the car he traveled in overturned while swerving to avoid hitting a deer. Baker, a 21-year-old father of two, was thrown from the vehicle as he was not wearing his seatbelt, according to the Clarion Ledger.
Cox went back to his hometown of Yazoo City, Miss. for the funeral and was excused from the first two days of the full-team mini-camp. Cox said that if he was at home he would have likely been in that car as well as the two were inseparable, doing everything together as they grew up.
"God has a plan for everybody," Cox reasoned after the team's final practice on Thursday before Training Camp. "The good thing is he's not suffering."
Returning to the field provided an escape for Cox, who said that he will return to Mississippi to spend time with his family. The Eagles are done until the rookies, quarterbacks and injured players report to Training Camp on July 22. The veterans provided the No. 12 overall pick this bit of advice.
"They told me the main thing is to stay in shape," said Cox, who will train at his alma mater Mississippi State. "This time, often, a lot of guys, especially D-tackles, go back and gain a lot of weight and really don't come back to Training Camp in shape. Being in shape is my main thing."
Since arriving in May for the Rookie Camp, Cox believes he has improved at his ability to get off the ball, how to use his hands and, quite simply, how to be a professional. The Eagles have moved Cox all around the defensive line during the spring camps and he is in line to be an immediate contributor in 2012. Cox is the only one of the team's nine draft picks who is not yet under contract. Cox is not concerned.
"It's my job to play football and it's my agent's job to deal with my contract," Cox said. "It won't be a problem."
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider