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PFF Thinks Fletcher Cox to Steelers Is an Ideal Fit



Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agency Target Fletcher Cox

Could veteran Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox make his way across the Commonwealth to the Steel City? Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus thinks Pittsburgh or the New York Jets would be an ideal landing spot for the six-time Pro Bowler.

“Cox had a bounce-back 2023 season after one of the least productive seasons of his career in 2022, and he played a massive role despite the addition of two first-round interior defenders in recent years, among other, younger additions,” Spielberger wrote. “The veteran still has good football left in him, and while you may not want him playing 700-plus snaps, he is plenty capable. The Jets add a veteran who can serve as a mentor to Quinnen Williams and also play a key role on a rotation that needs beefing up.

“Steelers assistant general manager Andy Weidl came aboard from the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason, and here he recruits Cox to join a rotation featuring Steelers legend Cameron Heyward and explosive rookie Keeanu Benton. Pittsburgh has already begun shedding some bigger salaries this offseason, and while Larry Ogunjobi has been solid, perhaps there would have to be a one-for-one swap of sorts there.”

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said at the Combine that he is still waiting to hear whether Cox will return to Philadelphia for another season or retire. Cox is technically still under contract with the Eagles, but his deal sets him up to be a favorable post-June 1 release.

Back in November of 2021, when the Eagles were reportedly thinking about trading Cox, the Steelers were one of the teams in the sweepstakes. That never happened, but Cox did appear on Cam Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast as a guest during Super Bowl week and said it would be a dream to play alongside Heyward.

“You. That’s all love,” Cox said when the topic of who he would want to play with the most came up. “Just respect that you got for the game, respect that I have for the game. The way that you play the game, the way that I play the game, like we definitely could. That would’ve been nice. We could make some things happen.”

PFF projects a one-year, $9 million deal for Cox in free agency, which would be fully guaranteed.

“Cox has generated 35-plus quarterback pressures, racked up 15-plus defensive stops and logged at least 600 snaps every year since 2013. While he may not be at the peak of his abilities any longer, he is still a handful for any offense to deal with on all three downs,” PFF wrote.

The Steelers have an emerging star in Keenau Benton, but they still need to bolster the defensive line this offseason whether through free agency or the draft. Larry Ogunjobi had a subpar year in 2023, so adding Cox to the mix with Benton and Heyward could be intriguing for the Steelers.

During his career, Cox has recorded 519 total tackles, 70 sacks, and 88 tackles for loss. He has been named to six Pro Bowls and was also selected as first-team All-Pro in 2018. He was named second-team All-Pro in 2015, 2015 and 2017. Cox is a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.