Howard Eskin recently appeared on NFL Network and reported that Fletcher Cox turned down a big contract offer from the Eagles worth $60 million guaranteed. Eskin accused Cox's agent, Todd France, of "trying to get an unbelievable deal for Cox so [France's] other players' scale of salary would increase and use this to try and get those guys more money." Eskin called it "ridiculous" that Cox hasn't accepted the offer the Eagles have made to him.
These comments apparently did not sit well with France. In a radio interview on 94WIP during the Mike & Ike Show on Tuesday morning, France fired right back at Eskin. Via CBS Philly:
"For Howard Eskin to come out and say how insane it is and how ridiculous it is — and then to have a personal attack on me, when I literally don’t know if I’ve ever talked to the guy. OK? And if it was it’s gotta be years, and years, and years and it surely wasn’t about this. I think it’s unfair to myself, I think it’s unfair to Fletcher Cox to put out that type of misinformation. And you know who else it’s unfair to? The fans. Because you’re misleading your Philly fan base."
"To me it’s just wrong, careless, and bad reporting. That’s my opinion because I actually know the facts."
France was disappointed that Eskin did not contact him before running with his report. He also pointed out that the reported guaranteed money isn't necessarily accurate because of how contracts are structured in today's NFL.
"To say a contract is worth — whatever I’m gonna use $60 million guaranteed — and a certain amount of it he gets today, but the next year he gets some if he’s on the roster is guaranteed," said France. "And the next year he gets it guaranteed if he’s on the roster then. And the next year he gets it if he’s on the roster — those are year-to-year guarantees.
"Any person that’s got any intelligence to the football business will write and say, ‘That really isn’t X amount guaranteed.’ Because the team can do what? Get rid of the guy and cut him at any point and that quote-unquote guaranteed money the player never really receives."
That's a fair point from France. "Guaranteed" money isn't always necessarily as guaranteed as it's made out to be.
In other news, France confirmed that Cox is not attending the Eagles' voluntary offseason workout program (so far), but he did that say Cox wants to be in Philadelphia in the long-term: "One hundred percent, of course he does."
For their part, the Eagles have been pretty consistent about wanting to keep Cox.
"For us, he’s a great player, so he’s going to get great player money," Roseman said earlier this offseason. "We’re not shy about saying that. It comes down to kind of structure and all the things that kind of complicate negotiations. But I think the intention is right from him and his representative and certainly from us and how we feel about him."
There's still plenty of time for both sides to work out a long-term deal. Cox isn't set to be an unrestricted free agent until March 2017. And even if a long-term agreement can't be struck by then, the franchise tag is always an option. So there's no real need to get worked up about his contract status in the meantime.