Fletcher Cox calls his new contract 'mind-blowing'
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Fletcher Cox is getting paid like the quarterbacks he tries to torment.
''It's really mind-blowing when you're dealing with that much money,'' Cox said Thursday.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Cox agreed on a contract extension Monday night. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle spoke to reporters after signing the richest deal ever given to a defensive player in terms of guaranteed money.
A person familiar with the contract said the six-year extension is worth almost $103 million with $63 million guaranteed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn't release the figures.
Eli Manning and Philip Rivers are the only players who got more guaranteed money. Each received $65 million. Buffalo's Marcell Dareus ($60 million) and Miami's Ndamukong Suh ($59.9) million are the defensive players right behind Cox.
''I (want) to continue to humble myself and continue to work at practice and be a leader the team needs me to be,'' Cox said. ''I got a ways to go. I don't think I've hit my ceiling yet. For me to be the player I want to be, it needs to start on the practice field. I have high expectations for myself.''
Cox was the 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He has 22 sacks, including a career high 9 1/2 last season.
''He's a great player and he's someone that we can build around on and off the field,'' said Howie Roseman, the team's executive vice president of football operations.
Cox skipped organized team activities while his agent and the Eagles negotiated the new deal. He returned for mandatory mini-camp last week and is eager to play under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.
''You can expect me to be in the quarterback's face a lot,'' Cox said.
The Eagles have given slightly more than $280 million in guaranteed money to several players this offseason. Most of the money went toward re-signing Cox, offensive lineman Lane Johnson, quarterback Sam Bradford, defensive end Vinny Curry, safety Malcolm Jenkins and tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek. First-round pick Carson Wentz got $26 million guaranteed and the team signed several free agents.
''When they're signing the guys in the locker room, it says they believe in the guys and want to bring them back,'' Cox said.
Roseman said keeping important players is key to maintaining continuity and sustaining success. Former coach Chip Kelly constantly turned over the roster during his three seasons.
''When you look at the Giants, the Steelers, the Colts, the Patriots, the Packers, the Seahawks, they have a core group of guys, a big core group of guys that they are building with together,'' Roseman said. ''They are going through things together. That strengthens your team. That strengthens your bond.''
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