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Fletcher Cox ‘Pops His Head In’ at Eagles’ OTAs

Defensive Linemen

Photo Credit by John McMullen/JAKIB Sports

PHILADELPHIA – OTAs are voluntary around the NFL and Nick Sirianni called the Eagles’ attendance this spring good and great depending on the sentence but as usual with the light work, some of the veterans have been in and out of the NovaCare Complex depending on the day.

“It is voluntary, so I don’t ever want to put anybody’s attendance out there,” the Eagles’ coach said. “We had very good attendance. Very, very good attendance. Now, things pop up for guys here and there as we know. Things can get hectic, things happen, family things happen, personal things happen.

“There are things that pop up.”

Pop-up turned into pop-in for Fletcher Cox, the Eagles’ star defensive tackle who wasn’t around last week when the Eagles opened up an OTA practice to the media.

“I always pop my head in,” Cox said after Wednesday’s final OTA preactice. “It’s just a sign of respect and a sign of being professional.”

Things were a little different for Cox this spring because the Eagles essentially re-set his over-leveraged contract taking on some dead money to put what has been one of the best defensive players in franchise history on a year-to-year plan as he enters his 11th NFL season.

The tightrope was Philadelphia releasing Cox in March before a significant bonus was due and then re-signing him 48 hours later to a one-year deal worth $14 million, still a significant stipend.

Cox, though, was technically free to sign anywhere for a short window of time but he and his agent Todd France seemed content with staying in Philadelphia.

“I know the team wanted me here,” Cox said. “It was just a deadline before we could get things done. I wasn’t nervous. I knew at some point, everyone has that day. That day you get released. … At some point, that day has to come. But I was happy we were able to get things worked out.”

Moving forward at 31, Cox seems to understand that the depth the Eagles have at defensive tackle, a group that includes a Pro Bowl player in Javon Hargrave, an emerging second-year stalwart in Milton Williams, and potential first-round impact player Jordan David, could help Cox extend his career.

“The way we rotate, it’s built so there’s not a dropoff. It’s 1A and 1B,” Cox said. “[Jonathan Gannon] has different ways of doing everything. He’s finding different things we’re good at. … Whatever the flavor of the week is, he’s willing to do. He’s really good with that. We’re all excited to maybe have all of us on the field at the same time.”

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for JAKIB Sports.