The Philadelphia Eagles are hoping to return for a longer stay in the playoffs this year, but they may be doing so without Fletcher Cox. In a big move on Thursday, the Eagles released Cox with a post-June 1 designation, designating the 31-year-old to hit free agency, according to Mike Garafolo.

Cox was due $18 million in 2022 which would have become guaranteed money if still on the roster at 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday. At the last minute before the deadline, the Eagles opted to release the veteran defensive tackle. Despite the team's decision to part ways with Cox, Garafolo reports the Eagles are set to continue discussions with Cox's agents in order to facilitate a deal to bring him back to Philly.

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Cox had been the rumor of trade talks of late, but rather than dealing Cox to an opposing team, the Eagles released him in hopes of bringing him back on a more team-friendly deal.

The 31-year-old struggled in 2021, recording just 3.5 sacks across 16 games. He logged 35 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 12 QB hits on the year, but never quite found his footing within Eagles' defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon's system. Despite his down year in 2021, the Eagles are hoping to have him back in town next season.

Cox has played his entire NFL career with the Eagles, having been drafted by the organization 12th overall in the first round in 2012. He's featured in 156 games for the team, recording 58 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 142 QB hits, and 443 tackles throughout his 10 years as a member of the Eagles.