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Eagles 6-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox announces retirement after 12 seasons

PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles’ efforts to get younger – if not worse off – continued Sunday when Fletcher Cox decided to call it a career.

The Eagles’ six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, who showed last season that he had plenty of impressive performances left in the tank, announced his retirement via an Instagram post.

“I fulfilled a lifelong dream by making it to the NFL,” Cox, 33, wrote on the post. “But what I didn’t know at the time was how much of an honor and privilege it would be to represent the city of Philadelphia and the Eagles organization for the next 12 seasons.”

A first-round pick in 2012, Cox played all 12 of his seasons with the team. He holds the franchise record for sacks (70) by a defensive tackle, trailing only Reggie White, Trent Cole, Clyde Simmons and Brandon Graham in career sacks overall.

Cox’s decision was not a surprise, since at the conclusion of the Eagles’ tremendously disappointing season tailspin with a playoff loss to Tampa Bay, he made mention of the Birds’ young talent on the defensive line, specifically recent draftees Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis, saying, “They’ve come a long way since they got here.”

It’s been a busy week for what’s left of the Eagles’ veteran core that helped carry the team to a Super Bowl championship in 2018. Center Jason Kelce, 36, called it a career after 13 seasons with the Birds, and the 35-year-old Graham signed on for what’s expected to be one final season, which will be his 15th in an Eagles uniform. Graham already has played more games for the Eagles than anyone else (195); Cox will stay tied for third-most in franchise history with David Akers at 188.

“What made Fletcher truly special is that his influence extends even further behind the scenes,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “The six-time team captain was a key figure in establishing a championship culture in our building. As nasty as he was on the field, he was a master of his craft while also serving as a big brother and mentor to so many young players over the years.

“He had a tremendous amount of respect for the game of football and the legacy he would one day be leaving behind, and that was reflected in the way he set the standard every single day, whether on the practice field or in the locker room. That standard will live on for many years thanks to his leadership and the respect he earned from everyone in the building.”

Characteristically, Cox departs in classy fashion. Though he didn’t call a Kelce-style press conference that tearfully went on for more than 40 minutes, he left a succinct message as his mic drop. Addressing the team’s fans, he began his post by writing, “April 26, 2012 was a special day that changed my life forever when Andy Reid called to say I would be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. I fulfilled a lifelong dream by making it to the NFL, but what I didn’t know at the time was how much of an honor and privilege it would be to represent the city of Philadelphia and the Eagles organization for the next 12 seasons.”

He went on to thank his family, along with owner Jeffrey Lurie, team management, coaches, club staff and his teammates, saying, “You have no idea how much I appreciate the many ways you helped me grow not just as a player, but as a young man into the man I am today.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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