Jets Labeled ‘Appealing’ Destination for Former $102 Million All-Pro

Fletcher Cox

Getty Philadelphia Eagles long-time DT Fletcher Cox during the 2022 preseason.

For New York Jets fans, the next week and a half could determine the level of optimism heading into the 2023 season.

Over that span, supporters should find out who the new quarterback is, and what key veteran pieces the franchise plans to put around that signal-caller on both offense and defense in free agency. According to Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic, one mutually beneficial signing could be long-time Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

He reasoned: “Cox has spent his entire 11-year career with the Eagles, but he might finally break free. And if he does, [Joe] Douglas (who previously worked as Philadelphia’s vice president of player personnel) knows better than most what Cox can do. Playing for a Jets team that rotates its defensive linemen might be appealing for a 32-year-old entering the twilight of his career. Cox is still a quality defensive tackle even as he ages, getting seven sacks and 14 QB hits last season.”

Jets Connection to Fletcher Cox, Eagles Feels Strong

The Jets came up in trade chatter regarding Cox last spring and summer but in the end, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman decided to keep the former first-team All-Pro for one more run at a Super Bowl — and they almost won it too.

The two sides are expected to part ways in 2023, however. “The world knows I’m on a one-year deal, so I’m just here to enjoy it,” Cox told reporters during Super Bowl week. “And we’ll see where the bricks fall.”

If the six-time Pro Bowler and one-time champion does decide to continue his illustrious career elsewhere, few options make more sense than the Jets. For starters, this is a massive position of need for Gang Green.

New York is expected to lock up superstar Quinnen Williams long-term but outside of that, they only have Tanzel Smart and newcomer Isaiah Mack under contract as of now. 2022 starter Sheldon Rankins is an unrestricted free agent, as well as second-teamers Nathan Shepherd and Solomon Thomas.

Cox could replace Rankins next to Williams, upgrading the front four on defense.

From his perspective, a transition to the Jets makes sense for multiple reasons too. One, this defense operates very similarly to the system in Philly — relying on a rotational four-man rush that is known for its depth. Two, there are ties to Douglas and players like Vinny Curry — who could still re-sign on a veteran deal. Three, taking snaps next to an ascending game-wrecker like Williams would make Cox’s life a lot easier at age 32.

The veteran D-tackle made $14 million in 2022 with dummy years built into his deal beyond that. He also once earned 91.8% of a $102.6 million contract, so he may be willing to take less money if it means signing in the right location. The Cleveland Browns have also been linked to Cox with ex-Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz landing in Ohio.

Jets’ Quinnen Williams Idolized Eagles’ Fletcher Cox

Back in August of 2021, when the Jets and Eagles held joint practices together, Williams described Cox as one of his idols that he watched film of from a young age during an episode of team documentary “One Jets Drive.”

“A lot of [defensive linemen] watch Aaron Donald, I’ve watched Fletcher Cox a lot because I’m not like — Aaron Donald’s smaller than me,” Williams explained. “I feel like my body size, the way I played coming out of college, is more similar to Fletcher Cox than anybody else.”

The integral lineman has also referenced Cox many times in interviews along with the aforementioned Los Angeles Rams superstar, Donald — two players he’s attempting to emulate throughout his career.

On draft night, “Big Q” even told NBC Philadelphia reporter John Clark to “tell Fletcher Cox I love him.” Williams added: “I’m built like him. Really, I compare myself to @fcoxx_91. I watch all his film. Look at his hands, speed rush, power.”

Pairing the rising star with a sort of mentor like Cox could help Williams elevate his personal game to new heights in 2023.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x