2. Fletcher Cox, DT
A couple of years ago, it felt as though this one was already going to happen. Ahead of the 2022 season, the Eagles released Fletcher Cox as they had a lot of depth in the middle of the line and he had a massive cap hit. In the end, he returned on a one-year deal and that proved to be the right call. Jordan Davis, their first round pick in 2022, wasn’t ready for the full-time role and that led to Cox starting all 17 games.
He ended up having a fantastic season with 43 tackles and seven sacks which led to another one-year deal this offseason. This time, it almost felt unfair as Davis was not only starting to have the light bulb come on but they also landed Jalen Carter in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
As good as the Georgia products were, Cox still started 15 games and had 33 tackles and five sacks. He’s continued to prove he’s a savvy veteran and even as he approaches his mid-30s, he’s been effective.
While that’s all true, it’s also going to be tough to justify paying him once again. Davis and Carter are both ready to play more and their rookie deals are far more favorable to the salary cap. The business side of the game says it’s time to move on but fans will be sad to see a six-time Pro Bowler who was selected 12th overall in 2012 leave.