Philadelphia Eagles: One NFL writer thinks Fletcher Cox may be overpaid

ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 29: Fletcher Cox
ST PAUL, MN - JANUARY 29: Fletcher Cox /

Recently, one NFL writer shared his views on what he thought was an overinflated contract the Philadelphia Eagles paid to Fletcher Cox.

Count them. Since being drafted 12th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, star defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has racked up 285 tackles, 34 sacks, 11 pass deflections, seven forced fumbles and two defensive touchdowns. Throw in one pretty cool ‘Thriller’ dance after an opening day scoop and score that ended a five-game losing streak to the Washington Redskins, and you have a pretty awesome looking stat line.

What gets forgotten about is he’s done all of that with offensive coordinators typically devising schemes to neutralize his impact. More often than not, it doesn’t work. In a stat-obsessed era where many of us play Fantasy Football, it’s often to determine the value of Cox’s presence by simply looking at stats alone. By just showing up, Cox frees up opportunities for others.

That’s what you can’t measure. That’s what can’t be determined when trying to understand ‘value’.

One NFL writer shares his opinion.

Recently, Bill Barnwell, a staff writer for ESPN dropped his twenty most inflated contracts in the NFL today. He discusses, among other things, the uncertainty of the NFL deal and the need to take contracts on a case-by-case basis. Take a gander:

"One simple metric NFL teams use for multiyear deals is the amount of money a player is set to take home over the first three years of his contract, at which point organizations are likely to either negotiate a new deal or move on from the player in question."

Here’s how the guys who made the list were added:

"I’ve compared edge rushers to other edge rushers, cornerbacks to other cornerbacks, and guards to other guards. The resulting list reveals 20 players whose three-year values round up to be at least 30 percent higher than the top 20 values at their position, which I’m considering to be the baseline. It reveals which teams have been too aggressive in locking up talent and which players are actually getting a premium after you consider their position."

Fletch cracked the list at number ten. Here’s some of Barnwell’s justification:

"Three-year compensation: $47.8 million (36.5 percent over baseline)Cox’s raw statistics are deflated by how the Eagles heavily rotate their defensive linemen throughout the regular season. We saw evidence of that in the postseason. The 27-year-old lined up for only 59 percent of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps during the regular season, but when January rolled around, Cox played more than 86 percent of the snaps during the Eagles’ run to Super Bowl LII. He also delivered in the playoffs, as Cox’s six quarterback knockdowns during the postseason ranked second behind only New England’s Trey Flowers."

You tell us. Is Cox overrated?

Cox signed his six-year, $103 million extension ($63 million of that was guaranteed) on June 13th of 2016. Sure, Philly may have overpaid for him slightly, but Cox may have the upper hand in negotiations at that time.

He would have entered free agency as the top defensive tackle on the market, and Philly seemed to be thin at every position on the field except maybe quarterback and tight end.

Next: Nick Foles wins an ESPY

Regardless of where you are in the debate, one thing’s certain. Cox has earned his wings, and no Eagles coach or fan is having anything that resembles ‘buyer’s remorse’.