Nearing the end of a dramatic week, Fletcher Cox took his cleats off and stepped up to the podium on Friday.
The veteran defensive tackle was the subject of trade rumors for the last seven days, but the Eagles’ efforts to find a partner before the trade deadline Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Cox wouldn’t say whether he thought he was going to be dealt, but he noted that the organization was upfront about the process with him and his agent, Todd France.
“During the whole process, I was in constant communication with Howie, Nick, and my agent,” Cox said. “There were some teams interested in me, but the most important part is that they wanted me here, I want to be here, I’m happy to be here. I’m looking forward to going out and playing in the Linc again on Sunday.
“You can’t do nothing but respect this organization for doing that,” Cox added. “I haven’t been anywhere else, but most places really don’t include the player in that choice. I think Howie and Nick did a really good job of communicating with Todd and me. At the end of the day, I’m still an Eagle, so I’m ready to go play on Sunday.”
Cox fielded a few questions about the trade discussions, but eventually he insisted the conversation shift to the home game Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
“If you want to talk about the Chargers,” Cox said. “Like I said, I respect that we closed that door and we move on to what’s most important. We have a game in two days.”
It’s been a turbulent season for Cox. The 30-year-old is off to a slow start and has publicly expressed frustration with new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme on multiple occasions. He has one sack, four quarterback hits, and 12 tackles this season.
The Eagles restructured his contract just before the start of the regular season, resulting in his carrying a huge cap hit in each of the next two seasons. If the team successfully traded him, it would have incurred roughly $37 million in dead cap money over the next two seasons.
After the loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Cox criticized Gannon’s passive scheme, saying he wanted to go outside the scheme to stay aggressive at times.
On Friday, Cox said he has a good relationship with Gannon, complimenting the first-year coordinator’s play-calling in the Eagles’ 44-6 win against the Detroit Lions.
“I think Jon called a great game,” Cox said. “I think especially last week, I think everything was good. We got up a little bit and that gave us a chance to go rush and pin our ears back. But he called a real good game early to put us in those positions. As a player, you got to expect that you’re not going to get everything you want.
“At the end of the day, he’s still the coach. He’s still the coordinator. You just kind of work hand-in-hand, and Jon has been doing a good job.”