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Fletcher Cox and Darius Slay confirm how close they were to leaving Eagles

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Photo Credit by John McMullen/JAKIB Sports

Major League Moving LogoThe Eagles were very close to losing two defensive veterans this offseason as we’ve reported on BIRDS 365 and now both players have confirmed just how close they were to leaving Philadelphia.

Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox got a better money offer from the New York Jets and former Philadelphia VP of player personnel Joe Douglas, while five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay almost went the other direction on I-95 to the Baltimore Ravens before he agreed to a reworked deal with the Eagles.

Slay held his fingers close together and said “I was almost, almost, this close to being a Baltimore Raven” on his podcast “Big Play.”

Slay, of course, even said goodbye to Philadelphia via social media before a 180 where Eagles GM Howie Roseman kicked in a little extra guaranteed money in exchange for 2023 cap relief.

“I wanted to be an Eagle, I stayed an Eagle because I knew me and Howie would figure something out,” Slay confided.

The Ravens were the team that came through for Slay before Roseman and the Eagles reconsidered a hard-line position of no new money on Slay’s deal, which was set to be $17.5 million salary next season with an untenable cap hit of over $26M.

“The Baltimore Ravens were the first team that called and they offered just what I wanted and I just said if the Eagles did that, I’m going to stay an Eagle,” said Slay. “I was almost a Raven, I was almost a different bird.”

The two sides settled on what was advertised as a $42 million extension over two seasons that runs through 2025 but the nuts and bolts were $23M guaranteed over the next two seasons with the trade of Slay getting more guaranteed money than his scheduled $17.5M 2023 salary and the Eagles getting significant cap relief.

Cox, meanwhile, commented on his talks with the Jets on former teammate Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast.

“I couldn’t picture myself wearing another uniform and I definitely would have had to switch numbers,” Cox told Long, alluding to John Franklin-Myers being No. 91 for the Jets.

A separate NFL source told JAKIB Sports that the Jets offered Cox one-year and $12M compared to the $10M he got for Philadelphia,

“No. 1, I’m excited to be back,” said Cox. “Two, it came down to really some decision-making and talking with family. It was close, but at the same time, I wanted to stay home. I wanted to be here in Philly and finish this thing in the city of Philadelphia. Again, it was close, but I’m excited to be back.”

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