The Eagles made a deal at the trade deadline on Tuesday, but it wasn't the potential blockbuster some fans were waiting for.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, one of the Birds' best players of the last decade, was reportedly available as the 4 p.m. deadline approached and was getting interest from numerous teams around the league, ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter reported Wednesday morning on 97.5 The Fanatic.
And one contending team in particular, the Las Vegas Raiders, was trying to make something happen in time - but the two sides ultimately couldn't reach an agreement.
Schefter explained why a deal likely fell through during his radio hit:
"Fletcher Cox was receiving interest around the league, there were teams calling about Fletcher Cox. And I think the team that really had an interest in him was the Las Vegas Raiders. I think what happened is, when Von Miller got traded on Monday for a [second-round pick] and a [third-round pick], I think that emboldened the Eagles to ask for even more. 'Hey, if Von Miller's worth a two and a three, even though the Broncos paid the majority of his salary, well Fletcher Cox has got to be worth something similar.' Right? And I think the Von Miller deal perhaps impacted any potential Fletcher Cox deal, to the point where it didn't get done."
Very interesting! I wonder what happens if the Miller deal doesn't happen Monday, and instead takes until closer to the actual deadline to go through. Is Fletcher Cox wearing black and silver right now?
I can't fault Howie Roseman for pointing to the market value of Miller and asking Raiders general manager Mike Mayock for more compensation than they were likely initially discussing. That's how markets work; they're dictated by what people are willing to pay, not some intrinsic and inflexible value.
But I also see why the Raiders balked at matching that kind of a deal, despite their win-now ethos and Cox's talent.
Von Miller is 32 years old, and is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Rams were able to dodge paying the majority of his salary this year. That's a glorious deal for a win-now team. Sure, they gave up draft capital, but they're not tying themselves to an aging player beyond this season. And while Miller isn't his former First Team All-Pro self, he has 4.5 sacks through seven games this year and is still a legit contributor.
Cox is younger at 30 years old, but he's still under contract next year - when he counts for $26.5 million against the cap. The Raiders have Derek Carr on an affordable contract for a franchise (?) QB, but he only has one year left and they probably want to extend him sooner rather than later. Right now they're estimated to have $53.6 million in cap room to start 2022, but is spending roughly half of that on a past-his-prime defensive tackle the right move? Probably not.
It would've been helpful for the Eagles to get out from under Cox's contract, but him sticking around isn't a bad thing. He's still a very good player, a locker room leader, and a fan-favorite.
The Birds still have 10 draft picks in April, including four in the first two rounds and potentially three in the first round. They need to make them count.
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