PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fletcher Cox, Jason Peters, Donnie Jones, and Marcus Smith. All four of those players did not show up for the start of the Eagles’ organized team activities on Tuesday.
Related: Fletcher Cox Does Not Attend OTA
The headliner of the group is Cox, who signed a $103 million contract last June. The 26-year-old defensive lineman reportedly wanted to spend time with his family and is expected to rejoin the team next week.
While the OTAs are technically voluntary, former NFL MVP, four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, and Philadelphia native Rich Gannon believes second-year QB Carson Wentz should give Cox a call.
“Yeah, I think he should Jon,” Gannon told his former Raiders teammate Jon Ritchie and co-host Joe DeCamara on Wednesday’s 94WIP Midday Show.
Listen: Rich Gannon on the 94WIP Midday Show
“Look, you know he’s gotta earn those stripes,” Gannon said. “It’s hard for a young player, particularly a guy like Carson Wentz who’s a first round pick coming out of a small school like North Dakota State, to be able to come in there and start — I don’t know want to say bossing people around — but to be able to be that leader. I think he has natural leadership skills and qualities that you like at that position, but it’s hard when you’re calling out guys who are 10 years older than you or veteran players, and even guys particularly on the other side of the football.
“I wish, looking back on my career, I would’ve done a better job spending more quality time away from the field with defensive players. We’ve spent so much time with offensive players. I think if you’re gonna make that phone call, I think you do it in a way where you’re not criticizing him, but rather encouraging to come back and be a part of the team and be a part of the program, and how important his leadership is on the defensive side of the ball.”
Gannon, 51, who played on four NFL teams over the course of his impressive 17-year career understands the importance of the offseason.
“If you’re not doing it, in my opinion, you’re falling behind,” Gannon said on attending OTAs. “If you look at teams like the Packers, and the Patriots, and the Steelers they have excellent participation in the offseason program. This time in the offseason is absolutely critical.”