‘Close That Door’: Fletcher Cox Explains Trade Deadline Decision

Fletcher Cox

Getty Fletcher Cox was named the fourth-best player in the NFL.

Fletcher Cox said there were a few teams interested in trading for him, but he didn’t want to leave. And the Philadelphia Eagles felt the same way. They didn’t want to unload the heart and soul of the defense, a guy who has given the franchise his all for 11 seasons.

Cox discussed the recent trade rumors in a terse back-and-forth with reporters. The All-Pro tackle confirmed the decision to stick around Philly was a mutual one. He and his agent were in constant communication with Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni throughout the process. As the 4 p.m. deadline approached, all parties -including owner Jeffrey Lurie – agreed not to break up the band.

“You can’t give nothing but respect to this organization for doing that,” Cox said. “I haven’t been anywhere else but most places really don’t include the player in that choice-making or whatever. What’s important to me is I’m still here. They wanted me here. Mr. Lurie wanted me here. This organization wanted me here. I wanted to be here, like I said ‘Forever Philly’ and I’ve been here for 10 years and happy to be here.”

Cox expressed excitement over getting to see the fans at the Linc again this week, then politely asked everyone to cease asking trade questions. He has moved on to preparing for the Los Angeles Chargers.

“Close that door and move on to what’s most important,” Cox said. “We got a game in two days at 4 o’ clock and I’m ready to talk about that.”

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Cox-Gannon Feud Squashed

Cox briefly touched on his growing relationship with defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. The two had a public falling out about the scheme and the way plays were being called, specifically in regard to Cox’s role. Gannon admitted to making mistakes and vowed to listen to his player’s ideas. Now it appears everyone is in lock step.

“He understands me, I understand him,” Cox said. “He’s been doing a good job of everything. As a player you got to expect you’re not going to get everything you want because he’s still the coach and he’s the d-coordinator, so just got to kind of work hand in hand.”

The outcome of last week’s game probably played a big factor in that new understanding. They racked up six sacks as a team while holding Detroit to 57 rushing yards en route to a 44-6 victory.

“I thought Jon called a good game,” Cox said. “Obviously, we got up a little bit. That gives you a chance to rush and pin your ears back. But I think he called a really good game early to put us in those positions which you have to be excited about.”

Scratch Talk About Rebuilding

Veteran players hate to hear the term rebuild. It usually indicates a lot of losses on the horizon and older guys being shown the door. That hasn’t happened yet in Philly and Cox isn’t sure it will. The 30-year-old can’t speak for the front office, but he doesn’t view this year as a rebuild.

“Not once did I think this team is rebuilding,” Cox said. “I think we are just trying to figure it out. That’s not my job to go on if we’re rebuilding or not. I think my job is to just remain professional and continue to be the pro that I am.”

For the record, Cox and the Eagles sit in second place in the NFC East at 3-5. It’s a long shot to catch the streaking Dallas Cowboys in the division, but a wild-card playoff spot remains very much in reach.

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