- Frederick Blue
The Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles Saga
Both Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles have stayed away from the voluntary workouts and OTAs that commenced in April. As stated, these are voluntary workouts for players and the mandatory mini-camp does not begin until June 7th. What is interesting is that both players (with some exceptions for absences due to personal reasons) attended these voluntary sessions during Chip Kelly’s tenure. With a new head coach in Doug Pederson and new offensive and defensive coordinators in Frank Reich and Jim Schwartz, the Eagles are employing new schemes on both sides of the ball. It’s important for both players to be here only from the standpoint to get a jump in learning the new system. Schwartz will not be married to, but will insert the wide 9 within the Eagles defensive arsenal for the first time since former defensive line coach Jim Washburn did during the Andy Reid regime. He is also salivating at the opportunity to coach Cox in his defense. Cox is coming off of a Pro Bowl season in which he garnered 71 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries during the 2015 season. He and his agent have been negotiating with the Eagles brass over the past few months, but the two sides appear to still be far apart in the area of guaranteed money.
Any potential Cox deal could be in the neighborhood of $100 million, with $50-$60 million in guarantees. He is scheduled to earn a little over $8 million in 2016. Sproles situation is a little different. There were rumors during the draft that the Eagles were fielding calls for Sproles regarding a potential trade. Whether the Eagles initiated the discussions or other teams have not been confirmed, but Sproles absence from the voluntary workouts has led to speculation that he is unhappy with his contract situation and miffed by alleged trade discussions. Sproles has since denied that his staying away has anything to do with a contract dispute. The Eagles do not have tremendous depth at the position since trading DeMarco Murray to the Titans a few months ago. Besides Sproles, the Eagles have Ryan Matthews, Kenjon Barner , 5th round pick Wendell Smallwood and undrafted rookie Byron Marshall out of the Oregon in camp.
Although it would be in their best interests to be participating in the workouts, Eagles fans should not be too concerned since it’s still early in the offseason. If the absences extend into the mandatory OTAs and training camp in June/July respectively, well…