Eagles losing another career-long legend to retirement on Tuesday

First, the Philadelphia Eagles lost Jason Kelce to retirement earlier this offseason. Now, they will be without longtime defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who announced he will also hang up the cleats in a press conference on Tuesday.
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

After an illustrious 12-year career with the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox will join former longtime teammate and future Hall of Famer Jason Kelce in retirement this offseason, marking two critical losses for the franchise.

Cox formally announced he is hanging up the cleats during a press conference at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday, and it is clear that the decision is weighing heavily on him if his comments to the media are any indication. 

Eagles legend Fletcher Cox joins Jason Kelce in retirement

"I wish this was an April Fools' Joke. But it's not. It's real," Cox said to begin his press conference before thanking everyone within the Eagles organization and the city of Philadelphia for "changing" his and his family's life for the best since they took a chance on him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft

Cox established himself as one of the best interior defensive linemen of his time, earning Pro Bowl honors six times and one All-Pro First Team nod in 2018. He racked up 70 career sacks, 173 quarterback hits, 88 tackles for loss, 16 forced fumbles, 16 pass deflections, and three defensive touchdowns across 12 seasons as a pro, which may be enough to merit Hall of Fame consideration at the very least, if not a sure thing.

There was speculation about whether Cox would retire this offseason when he took to Instagram to share a photo of himself, Kelce, and fellow former longtime teammate Brandon Graham, followed by a cryptic caption in the wake of the Eagles being eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past season. Now, he confirms that he will be calling it a career.

Cox has been a driving force of the Eagles' defensive unit since entering the league and helped bring a Super Bowl to Philadelphia in 2017, with Tuesday officially marking the end of an era.