Fletcher Cox is not talking about his contract situation. The Eagles defensive lineman issued a statement earlier on Tuesday explaining he wouldn't explain his absence from voluntary workouts. Then Cox failed to show up during the team's scheduled locker room media availability period.
But while Cox might not be talking, Doug Pederson is. The head coach of the Eagles said he really wants the Eagles to sign Cox before training camp starts in late July. And he expects it to happen.
"You know, I'm just hoping it gets done," Pederson said. "Bottom line: let's get it done and let's get in here. And he wants to be here. He misses the guys. You can tell. He misses – and [Darren Sproles] is the same way. Anybody that's been in a locker room before understands what team is all about. These two guys miss the guys, and they want to be here, so I'm fully confident that something will be done before camp."
There were multiple reports throughout this offseason that indicated the Eagles and Cox were close on agreeing to a new deal. The first one came back in late January while the second and most recent one was in April. But nothing has materialized thus far.
It's believed Cox skipped Philadelphia's voluntary workouts as an act of self-preservation. There's no need for him to risk injury when he's in line for a huge contract extension. The Eagles clearly feel the same way.
"He'll be a little limited," Pederson said when asked about Cox's status for minicamp. "He's coming back and we want him to be in the meetings, we want him to go through the walk-throughs and we want him to get as many mental reps this week as [he] can."
"We understand that not being here -- I don't want to put him out there and risk injury. I mean, he's definitely a big part of this football team and now is not the time to see exactly what he can do, because he's proven that."
Cox was indeed a limited participant during the Eagles' practice session on Tuesday. He warmed up with the team and briefly participated in individuals drills before entire sitting out of full team reps. It's expected that this pattern will continue over the remainder of minicamp.
But eventually training camp will be here and the Eagles will want Cox taking the full amount of reps in those practices. If Pederson's statement is any indication, Cox will be signed to a new deal by then.
In the end, though, it's not up to Pederson. It's up to Cox, his agent, and Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman to strike a deal. There's still time, and it's figured to only be a matter of time, but it's still not clear when a deal will actually get done.