Eagles

Fletcher Cox honored by all-decade nod that will help his HOF chances

Fletcher Cox honored by all-decade nod that will help his HOF chances

Fletcher Cox has been a Pro Bowler, he’s been an All-Pro, he’s won a Super Bowl and he’s signed a $100 million contract. 

The Eagles’ defensive tackle has received a lot of accolades during his eight-year NFL career, but the latest might be the most impressive. 

Earlier this offseason, Cox was one of four Eagles named to the NFL’s all-decade teams for the 2010s. 

It means a lot, man. I don’t think they just throw players up there. To me it means a lot. I sure can appreciate that. Gotta thank the coaching staff, my teammates and everybody who helped me get to this point to be able to be on there. It’s such an honor. And I’m truly blessed to be on there.

I got the sense that this truly is an honor that means a lot to Cox, and it should. For a lot of his career he’s been overlooked by many and overshadowed by other great interior defensive linemen. 

Cox was one of four defensive tackles to make the all-decade team, along with Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Sun and Geno Atkins. 

While Donald has arguably been the best defensive player in the league for the last six years, Cox has the chance, with a few more dominant seasons, to become the second-best player at his position of his era and make a real run at the Hall of Fame. 

Take a look at Cox’s career accomplishments so far: 

• Member of the all-decade team for the 2010s

• Five-time Pro Bowler (2015-19), third-longest streak in Eagles history 

• First-team All-Pro in 2018, second-team All-Pro in 2014, 2015, 2017

• Super Bowl LII champion 

• NFC Defensive Player of the Month (September 2016) 

• Two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 11, 2015, Dec. 30, 2018)

• Signed a six-year, $102 million contract extension in 2016 

• 48 sacks, 121 QB hits, 62 TFLs, 11 FFs, 11 FRs, 2 TD 

Cox is 29 and won’t turn 30 until December, so there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to play a dominant brand of football for at least the next few years. 

Last year, my colleague Reuben Frank looked at Cox’s Hall of Fame candidacy. If Cox ends up being a Pro Bowler for two more seasons, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be, that would give him seven in his career. Roob dug out this pretty incredible stat: Of the 15 defensive tackles in NFL history who have been seven-time Pro Bowlers, 13 of the 14 eligible are in the Hall of Fame. 

Cox is putting together a serious case to be enshrined in Canton and being a member of the all-decade team will only help his case. 

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NFL rumors: LeSean McCoy says Eagles had interest before he signed with Bucs 

NFL rumors: LeSean McCoy says Eagles had interest before he signed with Bucs 

For months — well, years really — LeSean McCoy seemed excited about the possibility of returning to Philadelphia, where his No. 25 has remained available. But that didn’t happen. 

Shady signed with the Buccaneers and will join Tom Brady in Tampa (Tompa) Bay. 

But on a Zoom call with reporters Tuesday, Shady said the Eagles were showing him interest even just before he signed with the Bucs. 

Earlier this offseason, the Eagles had expressed some interest in veteran running backs and the three they were linked with most were Carlos Hyde, Devonta Freeman and McCoy. The only one of the three that remains available is Freeman. 

The Eagles feel pretty comfortable with the running back group they have right now and are ready to roll with some younger players. Their top two running backs are Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. After that, they have Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield, Mike Warren and Adrian Killins. 

Coming into training camp, the Eagles wanted to get an extended look at some of those younger players. For instance, they had a draft able grade on Holyfield last year and had a draftable grade on Warren this year. 

McCoy is 32 now and it seems like his best days are behind him. Even though he was with the Chiefs last year, he didn’t play in the Super Bowl. 

But he’ll always be remembered as an Eagle. The Birds drafted him at No. 53 in 2009 and he played six seasons in Philly before Chip Kelly traded him to Buffalo. McCoy is a six-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro and the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher. 

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4 new roster rule changes that could affect Eagles in 2020

4 new roster rule changes that could affect Eagles in 2020

As a part of the agreement between the NFL and NFLPA for the upcoming 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a few important roster rule changes that could affect the Eagles. 

With the pandemic, the league has found ways to create new roster rules aimed to help teams as players might either test positive or come into contact with those who have. 

In either case, the league wants to be better prepared. 

Here are four changes for the 2020 season: 

1. Practice squad expanded to 16 players 

In the original collective bargaining agreement, the practice squad was limited to 12 players in 2020 and 2021 and would expand to 14 in 2022. But with the pandemic, the league and the players union agreed to expand the practice squad immediately to 16 players for the upcoming season. And if there are still COVID-19 protocols in effect for 2021, the practice squad will remain at 16 players. 

Six of those 16 players on the practice squads have no limit of accrued seasons, meaning the team can keep six veterans on the practice squad. 

Think about how the Eagles have used their practice squad in recent seasons. Heck, last year, the Eagles called up multiple players from their practice squad, including Greg Ward Jr. and Boston Scott, who played a ton down the stretch. 

2. Practice squad protected list 

Each Tuesday after 4 p.m. before a Sunday game — so not during the bye week — the Eagles will be allowed to protect up to four members of their practice squad. Typically, practice squad players are allowed to sign to any team’s 53-man roster at any time. 

In the past, the only way to protect a player on your practice squad was to sign them to the active roster. The Eagles have done that in recent seasons with QB Nate Sudfeld and OL Sua Opeta. 

3. IR designated for return 

Beginning on Sept. 6 at 4 p.m., teams are allowed to bring back an unlimited amount of players from Injured Reserve as long as those players have missed three regular season games. 

Once a player has been designated to return to practice, teams have 21 days to activate that player. 

Previously, the NFL capped the number of players allowed to return from IR and players were forced to miss a minimum of eight games. 

4. COVID-19 corresponding exemptions 

There’s an addition roster designation of Reserve/COVID-19, which we’ve already seen get used. The Eagles placed three players — Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata and Nathan Gerry — on the list earlier this training camp. 

There’s no definite amount of time players spend on the Reserve/COVID-19 list but they have to clear protocols before return. 

- If a player gets put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list before 4 p.m. on Saturday before a Sunday game, the team can replace that player with any free agent or practice squad player. 

- If a player gets put on the list after 4 p.m. on Saturday, they have until up to 90 minutes before kickoff to promote a player from their practice squad. 

That last part is a big change from the previous rule. In other years, teams had to call up practice squad players by 4 p.m. the day before a game. There are added protections because of COVID-19 this year. 

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