Fletcher Cox returned to the Eagles this Monday and was a limited participant in Tuesday’s practice in mandatory minicamp, but elected to let a prepared statement do his talking for him.
On Wednesday, before the team practiced in the indoor bubble, Cox finally answered some questions, but, for the most part, stayed true to the sentiment from his statement, that he wouldn’t answer questions about the past.
But he did answer one question about the future:
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“I’m expecting to be here for training camp, yes,” Cox said.
Cox, 25, is waiting for a long-term deal that is expected to worth somewhere in the range of $60 million guaranteed. He was limited during practice on Tuesday, but both head coach Doug Pederson and now Cox said that was a coach’s decision, not the idea of Cox and his agent.
While it seems like Cox is planning on being at the NovaCare Complex for training camp, he wouldn’t say much about his absence curing OTAs or his decision to return Monday.
What kept you away?
“Well, I’m here today and I think that’s all that matters. I’m not worried about the past.”
Why come back now?
I’m here today. I’m happy to be here. Happy to be with my teammates, glad to be with the coaches. I think what matters is to dive into the playbook.
Did you have a playbook?
“I’m here today. Dive into the playbook.”
Later on during the four-minute interview, Cox revealed a new playbook upon his arrival to the building on Monday. And so far, he’s liked what he’s seen. Cox thinks this aggressive vertical defense will fit his skill set.
In fact, Cox thinks this defense is pretty similar to the one the Eagles had when they picked him in the first round of the 2012 draft.
“That’s why they brought me here,” Cox said, when asked if it’s tough to determine his worth without having played in Jim Schwartz’s defense. “That’s what I played in college and my first year in the league. I’m real excited to see what it brings to the table and what we can do as a team.”
Fellow defensive lineman Brandon Graham, who also played in the 4-3 during the Andy Reid days and in former defensive line coach Jim Washburn’s Wide 9, said Cox understands the concepts, but the terminology is the hurdle.
Meanwhile, Graham understands that pending contracts can keep some players away.
“It’s just one of those things where it takes time to get big deals done,” Graham said. “Deals are always hard because you have to get the language right, you have to get the money you want right, that it works for both parties and stuff like that. But we expect it every year. It’s all about how people handle it and I think Fletch handled it well.”
For his part, Cox declined to talk about his potential upcoming deal. At least for now, he’s back in the building, working with his teammates.
“I’m letting my agent Todd France and the organization handle all that,” Cox said, “and I hope y’all respect that.”