Fletcher Cox is not finished, not by a long shot. He proved that in 2022, registering seven quarterback sacks, 14 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss, and 43 total tackles in 17 games and again providing leadership to help the Eagles reach Super Bowl LVII. The Eagles feel that Cox has another productive season in him, too, and so they pursued a deal that would work for both sides for the 2023 season: Cox signed a one-year contract on Thursday to bring Cox back for his 12th season with the team.
A first-round draft pick in 2012, whom the Eagles traded up to get with the 12th overall pick, Cox has been a dominating player in the NFL, earning six Pro Bowl nods, four All-Pro picks, and being selected to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2010s. In recent seasons, he's also shown versatility, moving around on the line of scrimmage and giving the Eagles matchup advantages that, for example, helped the defense lead the league in 2022 with a franchise-record 70 quarterback sacks.
Late in 2022, Cox spoke about evolving as a leader and remaining in Philadelphia for his entire career.
"I would love to stay here," he said. "It's been my home and I think I'm playing at a high level. We have a great group here, everybody is helping everybody, pushing each other, and it's a great locker room. We're competitive, we have fun, and we want to be the best. Our mindset here is to win football games and I want to do anything I can to help us find a way."
Keeping Cox means the Eagles will maintain, as it stands now, a healthy rotation at defensive tackle. Javon Hargrave is reportedly headed to San Francisco as an unrestricted free agent, but the Eagles are expecting 2022 first-round draft pick Jordan Davis to make a big jump and they think third-year man Milton Williams – who had four quarterback sacks, nine tackles for loss, six quarterback hits, and 36 total tackles in 2022 – is ready for more. Plus, Marlon Tuipulotu and Noah Elliss are young prospects the Eagles believe have the ability to help the defense.
"We have a lot of young guys who are going to be factors," Cox said in the week before the Super Bowl. "I think we're all excited about that."
And keeping Cox adds to that excitement as he looks to keep this defensive front – which operates by the motto "No Crush, No Rush" (meaning stopping the run earns them the right to rush the quarterback) – playing as well as any group in the NFL.
"I've grown a lot as a leader and being able to help anybody understand what it takes to be a pro, that's something that I really enjoy," Cox said. "That's part of why we've had success here. Good players, great coaching, and we've all connected. I'm still playing strong, I still love the game, and I love Philadelphia, so I'm excited about what we have here."