PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fletcher Cox, Donnie Jones, and Jason Peters decided not to attend voluntary organized team activities, which began on Tuesday for the Eagles.
Cox, 26, is the most notable one of the three as the leader of the Eagles’ defense and arguably their best player.
“Again, it’s a voluntary program,” Doug Pederson said on Tuesday. “I would love for everyone to be here. That’s just me, personally. I’d love everybody to be here and I know it’s not always gonna work out that, but Fletcher is one of the leaders on the football team and guys like that you do expect to be here. But I get the rules, we abide by the rules, and he’s one of the guys too that at the end of the day I’m gonna hang my hat on and go to war with.”
Cox signed a six-year extension worth $103 million ($63 million guaranteed) last June. Cox has 6.5 sacks last season.
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“That is by far the most noteworthy aspect of that press conference,” said 94WIP Midday Show host Joe DeCamara on Tuesday. “Fletcher Cox not there. And unless there is something in his life that really requires him to not be there, as the 100 million freakin’ dollar man in the second year of his deal, in the prime of his career, as the guy who the Eagles have planted their flag next to him saying, ‘You are the leader of our defense.’
Unless there is a personal issue in Fletcher Cox’s world, absolutely freakin’ unacceptable for Fletcher Cox not to be there with his teammates. Unacceptable!”
According to Tim McManus, Cox “wanted to spend the week with his family” and is reportedly expected back next week.