New Era? NFL Reporter Teases Eagles Preparing for Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox To Retire in 2024

It's not just Jason Kelce who could be retiring this offseason after over a decade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Major change is coming for the Philadelphia Eagles franchise. It’s not just new coordinators entering the NovaCare Complex, or an emphasis in leadership toward quarterback Jalen Hurts that the organization is preparing for. A new era is dawning in the City of Brotherly Love with some longtime veterans preparing to exit their NFL careers.

All eyes have been on All-Pro center Jason Kelce and his pending decision, but an ESPN NFL reporter teased that the future Hall of Famer may not be the only star in the organization calling it a career.

Fletcher Cox Contemplating Retirement

Jeremy Fowler of ESPN is the latest reporter to source those within the organization who believe All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox could “retire at some point in the offseason.”

Cox has been with the organization since 2012, when the Eagles drafted the Mississippi State product with the 12th overall selection. Cox is a member of the NFL All-Decade Team in the 2010s while being a six-time Pro Bowl nomination and fifth in the organization’s history with sacks (70).

Fowler’s report confirmed what Olivia Reiner of the Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned as early as late January after the Eagles dropped six of their final seven games, including a 32-9 Wild Card playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Should Cox and Kelce both retire this offseason, the Eagles’ two longest-tenured members would be 2010 first-round pick Brandon Graham and 2013 first-rounder Lane Johnson.

Should Graham return with the team for a 15th season, he would become the longest-tenured Eagle in franchise history. Should Kelce return, he would be back for his 14th season, while Cox would be entering his 13th NFL season with a return.

There is also the notion that Cox may only temporarily retire to get out of the grueling practices of training camp to stay in shape for the stretch run. That is what longtime tackles like Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh did in 2022 when they joined Philadelphia midway through the year after skipping the dog days of August.

While there is no legitimate report of Cox being willing to return in 2024 later in the year, defensive tackles have been known to return late for stretch runs. Cox could simply be the next player at the position to do so.

Eagles Have Prepared for Jason Kelce, Cox Departures

Few teams have prepared for the departure of longtime stalwarts of the franchise more than the Eagles. When it comes to Kelce, former second-round pick Cam Jurgens was handpicked by the center to replace him in 2022.

Likewise, Cox’s replacements have been selected in the last few years. Philadelphia selected Georgia defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Jalen Carter in the first round of back-to-back drafts, while also allowing former third-rounder Milton Williams to blossom as a role player.

KEEP READING: Several Teams Interested in Eagles LB Haason Reddick

The Eagles could still address the DT position in free agency or the draft again in April this offseason. But they’re in a unique position to replace Cox with quality young players, as well as Kelce on the offensive side.

Philadelphia also has plenty of cap space (an estimated $40 million) to address each position in the coming weeks of free agency.

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