Fletcher Cox explains his decision to retire after 12 seasons

Eagles great Fletcher Cox announced his retirement from the NFL on Sunday after an impressive 12-year run.

He just didn’t really say why he was retiring.

But did explain it on Monday when he appeared on The Rich Eisen Show. His body told him it was time.

“Yeah, it was just some weeks I would come home from games and doing the process of trying to get prepared to play another game on Sunday,” Cox said to Eisen. “During the season, we all know it’s a long season, right, you’re physically beat up. Sometimes, I found myself asking myself, ‘Why?’ And I always told myself, whenever I feel that way, I know it’s time. I enjoyed it. I still feel like I played at a really high level last year, even with the ups and downs and missed some games and missing some time.”

He wasn’t a Pro Bowl player anymore but Cox, 33 was still good in 2023. He started 15 games, had 5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits, 33 tackles and was the Eagles’ most consistent defensive tackle. It was a good finish to an impressive 12-year career that might be enough to earn him a gold jacket.

But Cox dealt with some injuries during last season including a back injury that required a painful epidural in early October. While he missed just one game with that injury, it took a toll. Cox also missed the regular season finale along with some other key Eagles to rest up for the playoffs.

It’s worth noting that Cox has played through a bunch of injuries in his career. If his body was telling him it was time, then it’s as simple as that.

“Me, normally, I don’t miss games, I don’t miss practices,” he said. “I kind of felt like I would be lying to myself if I told myself that I could continue to do it at a high level. So I figured it was time to call it.”

Cox said he’ll probably be hanging around the Philly area for a bit but will begin to transition his life down to Texas, where he owns a 1,500-acre farm called Shady Trell Ranch.

And if the Eagles or any other team comes calling during the season?

Cox claims he won’t be interested in unretiring.

“A lot of people asking me, ‘Hey, what if a team calls you Week 10 or 11?’” Cox said. “I was like, ‘Well, they’ll just be calling.’ Because when I’m done with something, I’m done with it.”

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