WHY A NEW DEAL FOR COX IS VITAL FOR EAGLES’ TEAM MORALE

By Steve Kelly

Eagles big boss Howie Boy Roseman has sure had an actove offseason, doing what he does best:

Massaging the salary cap.

The Eagles have been one of the most proactive teams this offseason in extending the contracts of core players well in advance of free agency.

Tight end Zach Ertz, safety Malcolm Jenkins and offensive tackle Lane Johnson have received contracts which make them among the highest-paid players at their respective positions.

The Birds’ only signing priority that hasn’t inked a new deal is Fletcher Cox, who is making the transition to 4-3 defensive tackle under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Cox’s agent is Todd France, who also represents Marcell Dareus, who signed a six-year, $95.1 million extension (worth a maximum of $100.35 million through salary escalators) with the Buffalo Bills days before the start of 2015 regular season. That contract contains $60 million in guarantees, the new benchmark for a defensive player.

France is adamant about the Eagles topping Dareus’ deal was expected at the outset of negotiations. There have been media reports of Cox’s camp rejecting an offer containing $60 million in guarantees. France quickly refuted this notion.

Under contract in 2016 for $7.799 million, Cox has been absent from Eagles’ offseason activities because a new deal isn’t yet in place. If the absence extends to the upcoming June 14-16 mandatory minicamp, the Eagles can fine him $76,580 for missing the three days.

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